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IXPs

Internet exchange points (IXPs) are a key part of the Internet ecosystem and represent a vital way to increase the affordability and quality of connectivity in local communities.

What Are IXPs?
An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) is simply a physical location where different IP networks meet to exchange local traffic with each other via a switch. They are integral part of the Internet ecosystem.

IXP Models
IXPs fall roughly into five categories: non-profit organization, an association of ISPs, operator-neutral for-profit company, univeristy or gov agency, or an informal association of networks

Physical Infrastructure
IXPs can be located in a number of different locations. Once determined, it is crucial to then identify appropriate power sources , cooling, security, and technical experts to run and manage the IXP.

Business Case
IXPs provide a competitive alternative to routing domestically destined traffic abroad. IXP viability can be calculated for interested ISPs by comparing the cost of IP transit to the cost of domestic peering.

Visit the IXP Collaboration Portal, which aims to provide information and resources to a variety of stakeholders, and to continuously improve this site to benefit the community.

Our work on IXPs in Africa

Since 2008, the Internet Society, with the support of its partners has been championing Interconnection and Traffic Exchange (ITE) related programs.

The vision for Africa is one focused on a core shift from “Internet Consumers” to “Internet Creators” and “Internet Innovators” on par with the rest of the world. Our goal is to help the region attain an 80% local and 20% international traffic balance by 2020. 80/20 by 2020!

The overall impact of the Internet Society’s various ITE activities has led to a stronger African IXP community, a 50% increase in the number of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in the African region, and more than 205Gbps of traffic being exchanged across these IXPs (up from approximately 100Gbps of traffic in 2013).

Most of this success is attributed to the African Unions’ African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) Project, implemented by the Internet Society in partnership with the African Union and the Internet Community.

A more detailed report on the Internet Society’s Interconnection and Traffic Exchange work in Africa since 2008 is available in the ITE Program Brochure.

In addition, a study was done by the Internet Society on the impact of IXPs in two African countries: Kenya and Nigeria. This study has been a key influencer and example as to the importance of and impact of IXPs.

Read study on how internet exchanges lower the cost of access.

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Map showing Internet Society's ITE work from 2008 – 2016

(Including Axis-related work)

Facebook IXP Partnership

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. Studies have shown that Internet users throughout Africa benefit from Peering as it enables faster, more affordable and reliable access to content.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Internet Society and Facebook have organized many peering roadshows and workshops.

Visit our IXP Partnership page for more information about the past and upcoming activities.

The African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF)

Since 2010 the Internet Society has supported the Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) that is recognized as one of the most important Internet events in Africa. It addresses the key interconnection, peering, and traffic exchange opportunities and challenges on the continent and provides participants with global and regional insights for maximising opportunities that will help grow Internet infrastructure and services in Africa.

IXP News

AfPIF Day Three: A Record Number of Women
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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 22 August 2019

AfPIF Day Three: A Record Number of Women

It’s been a record-breaking year: 97 women attended AfPIF 2019, the highest ever, showing the fruits of diversity efforts...

AfPIF Day Two: International Traffic, the Economics of Peering, and a Look Ahead to 2030
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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 22 August 2019

AfPIF Day Two: International Traffic, the Economics of Peering, and a Look Ahead to 2030

In the last five years, Africa’s international traffic patterns have changed, with international and  intra regional traffic growing, according...

AfPIF 2019 Kicks Off in Balaclava, Mauritius
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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 20 August 2019

AfPIF 2019 Kicks Off in Balaclava, Mauritius

The tenth meeting of Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) kicked off in Balaclava, Mauritius, with participants celebrating the...

Mauritius to host 10th Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum
Press Releases 13 August 2019

Mauritius to host 10th Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum

Port Louis, Mauritius – 13 August 2019 – Mauritius will host the 10th anniversary edition of the Africa Peering...

African Peering and Interconnection Forum 2019 Fellows Announced
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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 25 July 2019

African Peering and Interconnection Forum 2019 Fellows Announced

The 10th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF-10) has selected twenty fellows to participate in the meeting next month....

Caribbean Community Gathers Together to Discuss Improving Connectivity in the Region
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Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) 12 June 2019

Caribbean Community Gathers Together to Discuss Improving Connectivity in the Region

Cooperation has been key to expanding Internet access around the globe. Ten years ago, the African region created AfPIF,...

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