Potraz Clears Air on Zimbabwe Internet Exchange Point


The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe has rubbished claims that they discarded the local internet exchange point only to revisit. This was said by Potraz Technical Services Director Eng Baxton Sirewu at the Mobile Money and Digital Payment Annual conference held yesterday in Harare addressing a question from a participant.

He said while it is unfounded to make such claims, they actually used the current IXP as a case to apply for a tender to have a regional IXP in Zimbabwe which they ultimately won.

“While I still have the mic I want to correct the notion that we killed ZINX and then revisited ZINX. At no point did ZINX die. We used ZINX to go to tender at the AUC the African Union Commission to say this is the Internet Exchange Point that we have.

“This is its size. But we would like to expand into a regional exchange point. And out of the SADC countries, Zimbabwe and South Africa are the only ones who won on the basis of existing internet exchange point to expand,” said Eng Sirewu.

Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete speaking at Mobile Money Digital Payments Conference

Eng Sirewu added that they are currently modifying the IXP framework to match the regional standards.

“So what has been talked about was an expansion of the existing ZIXP and of course some redoing of the framework under which ZINX operates so that it can fit into the regional model,” he said.

Another sensational claim was made by the participant who said this upgraded IXP would cost the nation millions of dollars. Eng Sirewu noted that this IXP they are working on would cost a nominal $250 000 compared to the millions suggested by the participant.

“The other point that I would like to correct is that it was said it will now cost millions of dollars oin taxpayers money. It’s a sensational statement. But the truth of the matter is that from the tender we won at AUC the expansion will cost us $200 000.

“We then for domestic expenses added about $50 00. So it will cost us $250 000 to expand the current ZINX,” said Eng Sirewu.

Speaking at the same event, Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete said there was need to modernise the local IXP which had some flaws.

” You are saying why are we introducing Internet Exchange Point since intially or sometime back we did away with them, and for that one my answer is very simple. There are things that people do and as you revise you move back you may find that there are gaps or mistakes. There is no harm in revisiting what anybody would have done to correct it.

Last month, Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services permanent secretary Eng Sam Kundishora said Zimbabwe  is looking forward to have completed setting up its local internet exchange point next month.

“The (local) internet exchange point will be functional by next month. It will be launched in September. In August we should actually be finished with the installation, and the commissioning of the national exchange point ,” he said.

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