Pakistan telecommunication Authority in collaboration with the Internet Society-Asia Pacific (ISOC-APAC) is going to build Pakistan’s first internet exchange point for all ISPs in Pakistan to interconnect directly via exchange instead of one or more third party networks. The decision for setting up IXP was taken on the last day of INET Conference Islamabad.
Some major ISPs in Pakistan are peering with each other in major cities and Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) has also established an exchange by the name of Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE). However, this IX failed in meeting the core requirements of a neutral IXP. Later on, PTA decided in early 2015 to setup a well functional and fully featured IXP in Pakistan that is now going to become the reality. This IXP will be functional in upcoming two months. The reports for setting up the IXP have almost finalized. A governing body to formulate IXP will be established soon consisting five members in total one each from regulator, ISPs, mobile phone operator, and academia.
The IXP will be located in Islamabad and will be operative in next two months. The decision for setting up IXP for Pakistan is taken after taking into confidence the stakeholders from ISPs, mobile phone operators and academia. For those who are unfamiliar with IXP. IXP is a hardware infrastructure via which ISPs and CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) exchange internet traffic between their networks.
It reduces the portion of ISP’s traffic that must be delivered through their upstream transit providers thereby reducing the average per-bit delivery cost of their service. There are a lot of advantages this direct interconnection that will be made possible because of IXP. Their advantages are relating to cost, latency and bandwidth.
Major advantages of having an IXP are
- Cost Savings
- Lower Latency and Better User Experience
- Local Content Hosting and Content Generation
- Development of Local Cloud Infrastructures
- Improved Security
- Availability of Services in case of disruption in international bandwidth
- Attraction for international companies like Google and Dailymotion to create local images of their servers, in Pakistan
During the meeting between PTA and ISCO-APAC, various issues regarding cybersecurity, e-government and digital economy. Both organisations aimed to host such type of events in future as well for fruitful discussions.
During the concluding session, Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Mr. Miftah Ismail said, “Deliberations through such conferences are helpful in providing the foundation for ICT agenda. He said that the focus needs to be on software exports as the economy is progressing now. He said inflation has come down and macroeconomic stability can be felt.”
The three-day conference was held in Islamabad by PTA in collaboration with ISOC-APAC. It was the first ever conference on the Digital Economy.