Cheaper Internet Access Planned
THE Bahrain Internet Exchange (BIX), designed to help start up Internet Service Providers (ISP), will make access cheaper and more efficient for users in this country, according to its new chairman.

BIX, which will initially fall under the control of the Transportation Ministry, is expected to make life easier and cheaper for new ISP's hoping to enter the market, which Batelco now monopolizes.

It will set up shop at the Almoayyed Tower, in the Seef District, before the end of the year once Bahrain becomes the first country in the region to completely liberalize its telecommunications market on Thursday. BIX chairman Shaikh Hamed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa said it will greatly reduce the barriers to entry for ISP's. ''Companies can literally just connect to the exchange and have access to bandwidth either through Batelco or through other international bandwidth providers,'' he said.

"This allows them to avoid having to buy bandwidth directly because better deals are likely when buying collectively in bulk.''
Shaikh Hamed said BIX is non-profit organization and will inevitably be seen as more unbiased by the new ISP's than Batelco, which is a competitor itself.