Nigeria’s IXP becomes regional exchange point for West Africa
With the backing of the African Union (AU), Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Point (IXPN) has become a hub for West Africa.In 2016, following a response to a call from the AU Commission, the IXPN got a grant to grow and become a regional internet exchange point for West Africa.
The significance of the new development is that with many IXPs in Africa exchanging intra-country traffic locally and intra-regional traffic being exchanged regionally, this would reduce latency and save costs by eliminating the international transit through overseas carriers. It would also positively impact content delivery in the country.
Project Manager, African Internet Exchange System Project of the AU Commission, Moses Bayingana, in Lagos, yesterday, said: “Africa has been paying overseas carriers to exchange intra-continental traffic on our behalf. This 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.
“There is growing importance in exchanging traffic among the internet service providers (ISPs) 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 realise fast and efficient services.”
Bayingana disclosed that through the AXIS project, countries on the continent with Internet exchange points have increased from 18 to 35 in the last couple of years. He said the commission further provided grants to support selected IXPs in the five geographical regions of the continental organisation to become regional Internet exchange points.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of IXPN, Muhammed Rudman, said with the new status, the exchange would seek strategic alliances with other IXPs, regional carriers and service providers for robust connection of the whole of West Africa.
He observed that the AXIS initiative had positioned IXPN to champion a more regional connectivity drive that would lead to a One-Connected Africa. Rudman said localising the internet within the continent would improve quality of service, as traffic will no longer travel abroad, enjoining nations, especially those in the West Africa region, to embrace the concept for better connectivity on the continent.