With the internet becoming an essential day to day tool for easy running of the daily activities in the global space, more education about how it works has become increasingly important. Whilst many persons are knowledgeable about the network of networks, only a few people possess concrete knowledge of how it works in the sense of seeing the requested information at any moment, regardless of the geographical constraint. While the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) indicated that the global population boasts of about 5.16 billion internet users, statistics from the Nigerian Communication Commission reveals that about 155 million of Nigerians access the internet via Narrowband and about 84 million, using the Broadband infrastructure that engendered the globalization.
At the center of this internet globalization, there are the internet exchange points (IXPs) facilities that ensures that internet users can connect with each other, which improves the quality of services as well as reduce cost of transmission. With this IXP facilities existing in about four different locations in Nigeria, there has been a need for businesses to leverage on the infrastructure and peering to enhance their lower costs and reliability. Reports on IXPs expansion indicate that it has played an important role in developing advanced internet ecosystem across Asia, Europe and North America.
Businesses urged to leverage on peering and interconnection.
In spite of the lackluster economic and telecoms performance across most African regions, the number of IXPs have continually increased. With about five facilities in Nigeria, there has been a noticeable growth of IXPs in the country. Reports point out that the IXP establishment permits local Internet Service Providers(ISP) to save cost on international transit, as well as reducing latency by the avoidance of domestic traffic for exchange overseas, which resulting good performance would cause an increase in usage. By building a critical mass, by involving ISPs, it will continue to attract content providers, business, governmental and academic users, becoming a focal point of a vibrant internet ecosystem in the country.
The importance of IXPs came into focus again at a webinar which was organized by Rack Center and titled, “Interconnection and Peering: The role of IXPs and Peering to drive traffic efficient business and ecosystem growth in Nigeria”. At this forum, businesses across the country were encouraged to leverage interconnection and peering to enhance traffic-efficiency and growth in Nigeria and West Africa. Keynote speaker and Chief Executive Officer if IXPN, Muhammad Rudman noted that the importance of IXPs in internet penetration could not be ignored, as it was a pivotal factor for interconnecting network operators towards the exchange of traffic, known to be the main basis of every digital economy.
Multiple IXPs in regional markets needed to improve internet efficiency.
He indicated that the IXP remained a major infrastructural piece needed to enhance access to internet by ensuring a localized internet traffic. Rudman noted that inter connectivity, infrastructure, cloud and content application were the technical infrastructures needed to enhance the growth of internet ecosystem in the country. Further, he revealed that there were about 110 networks connected on the exchange point with seven Points of Presence(PoP) in Lagos and that IXPN is in Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
The head of Interconnection and Exchange Platforms, AF-CIX, Obinna Adumike, stated that it was now a necessity for multiple IXPs to be provided in regional markets, for the improvement of quality and efficiency of the internet. Ben Ryall, the Edge Strategy Manager at Meta also stated that the main purpose of keeping internet traffic local was to position businesses at a better advantage. He explained that while competition was a major drive for reliability in the market, mobile network operators against the ISPs have kept the growth of the latter because they operate from similar frequencies.
IXP has enhanced cost saving, whilst also ensuring customers’ happiness.
A peering and interconnected specialist choir NAP Africa, Yolandi Cloete also explained that the understanding of peering and the benefits of companies of networks were the major challenges of the commercial viability of IXPS. On the importance of peering and IXP commendation, Austin Uwudia, the Chief Technical Officer of Swift Talk, noted that when his firm joined the exchange, they were able to adequately peer with customers. He noted that the IXP had been immense in ensuring cost saving and keeping the customers happy.