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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


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