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Internet hub prakas released

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Customers use free wi-fi at a cafe in Siem Reap. New regulations are set to govern internet exchange points. Photo by: Will Baxter

A DRAFT prakas  governing internet exchange points – which caused controversy last year after the government mooted a mandatory state-run facility – has been released.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications made available the draft edict yesterday, which would provide for the registration of domestic internet exchange (DIX) points.

An internet exchange point plays a vital role in enabling the flow of information on the internet by routing traffic between separate Internet Service Providers. In effect, they allow users with one ISP to access content hosted by another provider.

Exchanges hit the spotlight last year over ministry plans to charge companies to route domestic traffic though a mandatory hub, run by state-owned Telecom Cambodia.

Many in the private sector worried the scheme had the potential to stymie burgeoning ICT businesses, until Minister So Khun said at a private meeting in April that internet providers would be free to route traffic through whatever exchange they saw fit.

Yesterday, private sector officials were generally supportive of the draft legislation.

“I support it if it is fair,” said information technology firm CIDC’s Chief Operations Officer Mike Gaertner, adding his main reservation so far came from a clause stipulating licensed ISPs could not also receive a DIX licence. “The people with the most experience [to run a DIX] are the ISPs,” he said yesterday.

The draft, which was posted on the MPTC’s website yesterday, lays out a number of other stipulations, including ensuring that licensed DIX follow the rule and regulations of Cambodia.

“For instance, don’t let it include pornographic content or broadcast illegal gambling … as well as [breaking] other rules of Cambodia,” it said.

The Ministry is understood to be presently collecting feedback on the prakas.

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