Oh Canada: CIRA wants to keep more Canadian Web traffic on home soil

Canada’s Web domain watchdog wants to see more Internet traffic hubs based right here on Canadian soil.

There are only two Internet Exchange Points (IXP) based in Canada, onein Toronto and the other in Ottawa. That pales in comparison with the85 IXPs in the U.S. IXPs are large data switches, commonly based inbigger cities, that speed up Internet traffic flow within alocalized area.

According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority(CIRA), muchof Canada’s domestic Internet traffic flows outside of the countrybefore eventually reaching its intended destination within Canada.

CIRA wants to change that by pushing to build new IXP hubs in sixCanadian cities: Halifax, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg andMontreal. It’s a matter of economic competitiveness, improved service,security and digital sovereignty, said CIRApresident and CEO ByronHolland.

“We have much to gain from an improved Internet in Canada and astronger digital economy. This is about improving security, speed andnetwork resilience, while maximizing the amount of traffic that stayswithin Canada for the benefit of all Canadians,” Holland said in astatement released Thursday.

“Canada is not keeping pace with other OECD countries. For a countrysuch as Canada that was once a leader in the global digital economy,this is not acceptable,” Holland added.

CIRA doesn’t state how much it would cost to create the six new IXPs orwhere the money would come from but does say it has “initiateddialogue” on the issue with officials in those six cities.

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