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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

In June 2020 we released Anchoring the African Internet Ecosystem: Lessons from Kenya and Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Points Growth report. It highlights how IXPs play critical role in expanding Internet access and lowering connectivity costs in Africa.

Internet exchange points (IXPs) are vital to bringing faster and more affordable Internet to people.

IXPs are an access solution that wouldn’t be possible without people working together. From the very start, an IXP is the result of partnership, collaboration, and trust. They represent the very best of what can happen when people work in the same way the Internet does – interconnecting networks and people.

What Are IXPs?

An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is a physical and usually neutral location where different IP networks meet to exchange local traffic via a switch.

Different Kinds of IXPs

IXPs fall roughly into five categories: 

  1. non-profit organizations,
  2. associations of ISPs,
  3. operator-neutral for-profit companies,
  4. university or government agencies, and
  5. informal associations of networks.
How IXPs Work 

For an IXP to work it needs: a switch, routers, servers, a neutral locations, appropriate power sources, cooling, security, and technical experts to run and manage the IXP.

What’s The Business Case

IXPs provide an alternative to the expense of sending domestic Internet traffic abroad, only to have to return that traffic via an expensive international link. Basically, IXPs help keep local traffic local and help with cheaper, better, faster local Internet traffic exchange. The cost and quality of service that IXPs make can help ISPs and content delivery networks see the benefit of supporting IXPs. 

Support IXPs

Great things happen when we work together!

No matter if you’re a local technical dynamo (or on your way to becoming one), an Internet Service Provider, a local gaming company, or someone passionate about access getting involved in the case for IXPs is critical.

 

Here are some ways you can help:
Lubumbashi IXP Workshop and LUBIX Launch

Lubumbashi IXP Launch, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Come to a Peering Forum

Peering forums are open events where those who work in peering and interconnection can gather to develop solutions and learn from each other. Want to see one? Want to speak at one? Do you have a peering forum that we can help support? Join our project and let us know!

Download Some Research

 Need to get more information on IXPs? We’ve got all of our materials in one place. Grab some of it here!

Visit the IXP Collaboration Portal

The portal can help you learn more about how IXPs work, where they are located, and get access to training videos. Connect with other people looking to build and strengthen IXPs.

Develop and Support IXPs in Africa

The Internet Society and Facebook collaborate in promoting IXP infrastructure development, training and community engagement with the objective of increasing the number of IXPs and supporting the expansion of existing IXPs to meet the growing demand in Africa. Check out this partnership.

IXP News

Africa’s digital revolution needs data centres – Actis
Tech Economy NG logo
In the News 4 November 2020

Africa’s digital revolution needs data centres – Actis

Tech Economy
How IXPs Can Help Achieve Digital Transformation across the Middle East
How IXPs Can Help Achieve Digital Transformation across the Middle East Thumbnail
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 3 November 2020

How IXPs Can Help Achieve Digital Transformation across the Middle East

In September the Internet Society, in cooperation with Middle East Network Operators Group, held an online workshop on Internet...

Kolkata IX: The Maiden Community Internet Exchange in India
Kolkata IX: The Maiden Community Internet Exchange in India Thumbnail
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 22 October 2020

Kolkata IX: The Maiden Community Internet Exchange in India

In 2015, the Internet Society Kolkata Chapter decided to create an Internet Exchange Point (IXP). It had just completed...

In Africa, Strengthening Digital Infrastructure for a Safe Return to Schools
In Africa, Strengthening Digital Infrastructure for a Safe Return to Schools Thumbnail
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 16 October 2020

In Africa, Strengthening Digital Infrastructure for a Safe Return to Schools

When COVID-19 struck Africa, governments imposed temporary or full shutdowns of education systems to contain its spread. At least...

Nigeria’s IXPs – Enabling Better Connectivity, Faster Internet Delivery, and Improving Internet Service
Nigeria’s IXPs – Enabling Better Connectivity, Faster Internet Delivery, and Improving Internet Service Thumbnail
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 30 September 2020

Nigeria’s IXPs – Enabling Better Connectivity, Faster Internet Delivery, and Improving Internet Service

Nigeria grew its local Internet traffic from  30% to 70% in the past eight years, connecting more people, increasing...

Partnering with Euro-IX on Infrastructure Development, Routing Security, and More
Partnering with Euro-IX on Infrastructure Development, Routing Security, and More Thumbnail
Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 11 August 2020

Partnering with Euro-IX on Infrastructure Development, Routing Security, and More

We can only be successful in creating an Internet for everyone if everyone is part of the effort. That’s...

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