More networks interconnect locally – ISPA
Local Internet users surf a significant amount of local content hosted by several ISPs around the country, according to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA).
According to ISPA, local exchanges play a key role in preventing traffic from leaving the country’s borders.
ISPA spokesperson, Ant Brooks, says Internet Exchanges provide a mechanism for ISPA’s members and non-members to interconnect their networks and exchange traffic.
“The exchanges encourage the local routing of internet traffic not destined for international locations. By exchanging information locally, there is no need to use international bandwidth,” he explains.
ISPA has established local Internet Exchanges (INXes) in Gauteng (JINX) and in Cape Town (CINX), with an additional exchange about to be built in Durban (DINX). With the advantages of locally exchanged traffic, ISPA says more than fifty networks are today interconnected by its exchanges.
By using a method to privately interconnect these ISPs – one prevents such traffic from leaving the country’s borders, traversing expensive undersea cable infrastructure, only to return a moment later as international traffic, says ISPA.
In commercial terms, local exchanges lead to lower cost and reduced latency (delay). ISPA says in 2009, just nine networks were exchanging data locally.
“The growth to above 50 is astonishing. It not only confirms the value of local switching, but also provides a glimpse into the growth of the internet in South Africa,” Brooks says.
He adds that the number of ISPs in the market today is an indication of an environment which is maturing in the wake of deregulation.
“With JINX and CINX now used broadly by an increasingly competitive local industry, the benefits of local switching are surely a key component in limiting overheads to provide South Africans with affordable, quality internet services,” he said.