Keep Ukraine Connected @ Namex 2023
The Namex Annual Meeting was held on the 7th of June, 2023, at Gazometro in Rome. While many important industry topics were covered and discussed at this event, we’d like to focus this post on the Keep Ukraine Connected Project presentation featuring 6connect Labs Vice President Jan Zorz and Oleksii Zinevych, CEO of Best, a Ukrainian ISP. Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the massive challenges associated with keeping the country connected during this difficult time, few industry topics are more important at the moment.
What is Namex?
As a starting point, we should provide a quick introduction to Namex. This non-profit serves as a neutral exchange and interconnection point and is the main internet hub for central and southern Italy. Using Rome as a central hub for three of its four data centers, Namex is able to provide an extremely valuable service for ISPs serving customers throughout Italy, even in rural areas.
NAM is the annual meeting held by Namex, which this year featured a presentation on the Keep Ukraine Connected Project that we mentioned above. Let’s take a closer look at what that project is in the section below.
Keep Ukraine Connected Project
The difficult conditions currently found in Ukraine need no introduction or explanation. The challenges that are faced by the citizens of that country go far beyond staying connected to the internet, yet maintaining that connection is an important piece of being able to continue on with life and get important information and resources along the way. So, with that in mind, the Keep Ukraine Connected Project is aimed at making sure those in Ukraine who are working to keep the internet functioning have everything they need to be successful in such a challenging and dynamic environment.
Specifically, there is an ongoing need in the region for hardware components that are required to rebuild the infrastructure that has been destroyed as a result of the war. Everything that goes into creating and operating a functional network, such as switches, routers, and fiber, is required. Donations from within the industry, along with the tireless efforts of many people, are allowing the Keep Ukraine Connected project to make a positive impact.
An Incredible Effort
The dedication and bravery of Oleksii Zinevych to take part in the Namex Annual Meeting should not be overlooked. Traveling in Ukraine is currently a dangerous prospect, yet he was able to make it from Ukraine to Rome – by car – to deliver a presentation and offer an update on how the network is being restored and what ongoing challenges continue to be faced.
In addition to hearing from Oleksii, attendees were also able to hear from Jan Zorz from 6connect Labs about the effort to send supplies to Ukraine in order to support the hard work of the networking teams in that country. Specifically, he mentioned the wireless access points that have been supplied to create connectivity inside the shelters where civilians seek safety while an attack is ongoing. Cellular service becomes unavailable inside of a bunker, so these donated wireless access points can offer the ability to reach the outside world while sheltering underground.
Jan highlighted the possibility of the experiences gained in Ukraine being used as a model to help other distressed areas around the globe remain connected even when challenges arise. Whether it is other wars or natural disasters, using what has been learned by helping Ukraine could be a great opportunity to make sure people stay connected despite difficult local conditions.
Keep Ukraine Connected is dedicated to creating a platform to collect what our colleagues in Ukraine need to keep the internet up and running. Everything is organized on a voluntary basis, and is being paid from donations. Namex giving this important initiative a platform at this year’s NAM provides crucial support in the efforts to raise awareness for the cause.
Thank you, Namex, for facilitating this conversation.
For more on Keep Ukraine Connected, visit their website.