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Middle East Peering Forum to Debut in Dubai

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The inaugural Middle East Peering Forum (MPF) will be held at MENOG 12 on 7 March 2013 at the Radisson Royal Hotel in Dubai, hosted by the RIPE NCC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia, and the Middle East Network Operators Group (MENOG).

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) are a hot topic in the Middle East right now. They allow network operators to exchange traffic (or “peer”) more easily and cheaply. This results in more bandwidth and faster traffic for less cost. That's why governments and industry are getting involved, and it is also why missing out on this opportunity could put businesses in the region at a severe competitive disadvantage.

Internet growth in the Middle East is at its highest point yet, and further development of infrastructure and capacity will rely on IXPs. Today, there are only a handful of IXPs in the region (Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and the UAE). It will be the early adopters that gain an upper hand in the explosive Middle East Internet market.

The MPF will bring together the leading content providers, social media operators, network operators and mobile operators from around the world. These organisations are now more than ever interested in the Middle East market. With an open and interactive format, the MPF will discuss a wide range of issues that are important to the Middle East peering community. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss industry trends and recent developments, and can expand their professional networks and initiate new peering arrangements. The MPF will also discuss the impact the new IXPs will have on the Internet landscape, and how they will come to affect Internet Service Providers and network operators over time.

The RIPE NCC and MENOG are grateful to have the support of Datamena, Equinix, Etisalat, Google, Hurricane Electric, ICANN, IX Reach, Renesys and UAE-IX that are sponsoring the event.

Serge Radovcic, Chief Communications Officer of the RIPE NCC, said, “The introduction of the Middle East Peering Forum is a great moment for the Internet industry in the region. We have already seen a significant milestone with the recent development of new Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in the Middle East. But technical developments are not enough - it is critical for the future of the Internet in the Middle East that industry stakeholders can draw from the knowledge and experience of others with face to face meetings to foster these crucial relationships. Following the trend we have already seen in other regions, I am certain that the introduction of IXPs and the imminent uptake of Internet peering will quickly become compelling and rewarding for organisations seeking a competitive advantage.”

Osama I. Al-Dosary, Chairman of MENOG, said, “MENOG is proud to host the first Middle East Peering Forum (MPF) as part of the MENOG 12 event. We view this as a natural evolution of MENOG and our Internet community. By bringing together experts from across the Middle East and around the world to share their knowledge and experience, we are confident that the regional Internet community will continue to move from strength to strength. The current formation of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) is an important start and a positive progression. We hope to see more of such initiatives in the region given the great importance of IXPs to national Internet resilience and economic growth. Events like MENOG underscore the basic principles of the Internet – openness and collaboration, and will help drive continued Internet development in the Middle East.”

The MPF is free to attend, and not to be missed by any Internet organisations seeking to expand their market advantage. Organisations are encouraged to register online.