By Kester Omu
With support from the African Union Commission, the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria has attained the status of Regional Internet Exchange for West Africa.
This was made possible after it yielded to a call for proposals issued by the AU Commission, where it was given a grant through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project to grow to become a regional internet Internet Exchange for West Africa.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Mr. Moses Bayingana, Project Manager, African Internet Exchange System Project of the AU Commission, said the call for proposals was made because countries in Africa with internet exchange points have increased from eighteen to thirty five.
Thus, the continent cannot afford to be paying overseas carriers to exchange intra-continental traffic on its behalf, as it is both costly as well as inefficient. “With regional IXPs in Africa exchanging intra-regional traffic locally, this will reduce the latency and save costs by eliminating the international transit through overseas carriers,” he said.
He added that with many IXPs in Africa exchanging intra-country traffic locally and intra-regional traffic being exchanged regionally, the cost will be reduced by eliminating the international transit through overseas carriers.
Bayingana further explained that there is growing importance in exchanging traffic among the internet service providers in Africa. This is due to the fact that by connecting to the regional internet exchange point, access to local content in the region improves, since the local traffic remains in the region. This in turn enhances internet use because the end users realize fast and efficient services.
The AU Commission provided grants to support selected internet exchange points in the five geographical regions of the African Union to become regional internet exchange points. One of them was the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria.
On his part, Mr. Muhammed Rudman the CEO of IXPN, said that with the new status as the Regional Internet Exchange Point for West Africa, IXPN would seek strategic alliances with other IXPs, regional carriers and service providers towards connected West Africa. He also said that the AXIS initiative has now positioned IXPN to champion a more regional connectivity drive that will ultimately lead to a One-Connected Africa.
Rudman noted that localising the Internet within the
African continent will improve quality of service as traffic will no longer
travel abroad as was the case, and enjoined African countries, especially in
the West Africa region to embrace this concept of AXIS for a better and improved
connectivity for the continent.
“We are excited with the current status of IXPN as a regional IXP for the entire West Africa. This has made us an information hub for the region and will help not only to localize internet traffic within the region, but reduces cost and latency, at the same time unlocking the potentials for digital economy allowing internet related businesses to thrive,” he said. Rudman also disclosed that in consonance with IXPN’s new status, it has upgraded its infrastructure to ensure a more resilient operation in the function of connecting other foreign IXPs and ISPs and to accentuate its capacity to handle the requisite traffic.