Faster internet coming as Pakistan to get its first Internet Exchange Point
Pakistan will be getting it’s very first Internet Exchange Point soon, a step that would see a considerable increase in internet speeds as well as a drop in bandwidth costs.
Internet speeds in Pakistan have been pretty abysmal and still lags far behind the global average internet speed of 5.0 Mbps. Most people have broadband connections with an average speed of 2 or 4 Mbps, while others portable connections are even worse. Although the introduction of 4G and 3G services has helped in bringing faster internet to more people and a few Fiber-based Internet Service Providers(ISPs) have recently started functioning in the country, the situation hasn’t improved much. However, as Pakistan will get its first Internet Exchange Point, there are bound to be some improvements in the overall internet speeds.
PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) has partnered with Internet Society (ISOC) in setting up this Internet Exchange Point in the capital city of Islamabad. While the hardware setup is already underway, it will take around a couple of months to get the system fully functioning. There aren’t any special hardware/software requirements for this and the basic hardware requirements are already in place, so the work is expected to be finished pretty soon.
An Internet Exchange Point(IXP) is basically a physical infrastructure that is responsible for exchanging internet traffic between the networks of ISPs and CDNs( Content Delivery Networks). Currently, the internet traffic is first routed through international exchanges that reside outside Pakistan which not only contributes to higher costs of per-bit delivery, but also results in high latency rates i.e. the time it takes to deliver for a package of data to get from one point to the other.
PTCL, the biggest ISP in Pakistan, is already on board and the other ISPs are also expected to use this IXP to route their domestic traffic. Once the system is fully online, probably within two months, internet users in Pakistan can enjoy a slightly faster(and probably cheaper) internet.
Source – ProPakistani