Pakistan’s first Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has started going through its test runs in Islamabad. The IXP will be made functional for third party users sometime in the next month,
What is an Internet Exchange Point?
An Internet exchange point (IX or IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers and Content Delivery Networks exchange Internet traffic between their networks.
IXPs reduce the portion of an ISP’s traffic which must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the average per-bit delivery cost of their service. Furthermore, the increased number of paths available through the IXP improves routing efficiency and fault-tolerance.
What this means for network speeds in Pakistan?
Leaving aside all the technical jargon, this IXP will ultimately result in better speeds and pings for internet users in Pakistan. Currently, even if you want to visit some local IP address, your ISP has to route you through international exchange points.
This result in longer wait times before users gets a response from the website, even if it is being hosted on a local server. With the introduction of this IXP, load times will be considerably less for local sites.
The construction of this IXP is a continuation of the Telecommunication Policy 2015, which says:
“Internet and other traffic will be exchanged within Pakistan using local peering or exchange points as far as it is possible to do so, recognizing that the use of international peering points in other countries imposes an unnecessary cost burden and a potential security risk.
PTA will take appropriate measures in consultation with stakeholders to encourage establishment of local peering and exchange points of IP traffic on legally established gateways in Pakistan”
The IXP is in testing phase for the last two weeks and will be operational sometime in the next month.