At the recently held 3-day INET conference, the first ever digital economy conference of its type held in Islamabad by PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) in collaboration with ISOC-APAC (The Internet Society-Asia Pacific) the decision to build an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Islamabad took place. This exchange will be set up and hopefully go live in the next two months. During the meeting between PTA and ISOC-APAC, various issues regarding cyber security, e-government and digital economy were put forward and discussed. Both organizations aimed to host such type of events in future as well for fruitful discussions.
What is an Exchange Point?
Now let’s give you an overview of what an Internet Exchange Point is and what does it do. An Internet Exchange Point (IXP or IX) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems). The primary purpose of an IXP is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more third-party networks. For example if you are using a local ISP and if a ping is sent for a website/server that is hosted on TransWorld for example, then traffic is routed through international exchanges that reside outside Pakistan. This traffic will now be routed within our local Internet Exchange after it’s set up.
Now that we have given our readers a brief introduction on the purpose and working of an IXP, you must be wondering that what advantage do you as a user can get by this? Well to mention the major merits of having an Internet Exchange Point are two-fold as not just the end-user but the ISPs can also benefit from this as mentioned under:
Benefits of an Internet Exchange:
* Reduction in costs for the ISPs.
* Lower Latency which in turn means lower Ping times and faster response times leading to better user experience.
* Local content development and hosting opportunities.
* Development of local cloud based infrastructures.
* Improved security and stability.
* Availability of services in case of disruption in international bandwidth.
* Attraction for international companies to create local images of their servers in Pakistan.
We hope that this latest initiative will boost the Quality of Service by all ISPs and in turn benefit the users along with creating new jobs and boosting economy in the process. What are your thoughts about this? Have your say in the comments section below!