State-owned utilities provider Grupo Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE), which offers telecom services under the Kolbi brand, has refused to participate in Costa Rica’s internet exchange point (IXP), La Nacion writes. The Costa Rica IXP (CRIX) allows operators to exchange domestic traffic locally, minimising the need for international traffic, thereby reducing costs and latency, resulting in faster and more efficient connections for end-users. At present 18 providers use the platform but Kolbi, which represents roughly half of the nation’s fixed broadband subscribers, has refused to participate, saying that it has its own international capabilities and would gain ‘no benefit’ in economic or traffic terms. Further, the incumbent complained that participation would enable rival operators to benefit from its own investment in network infrastructure, with Kolbi’s director of innovation and strategy, Francia Picado quoted as saying: ‘Low or no existing network investment by others present in the IXP, in contrast to the investment made by ICE…is remarkable.’
Rosalia Morales, the director of NIC Costa Rica, which manages the exchange, disputed Picado’s claims noting that the cost of maintaining a submarine cable would always be greater than maintaining a connection to the IXP.