Nigeria hopes to have localised its Internet traffic by as much as 60% by 2021, after hitting a 40% mark by the end of last year.
The Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Muhammed Rudman, notes that the growth rate of Internet traffic is a useful indicator of the entire Internet ecosystem as well as a good measurement of the digital economy’s development.
Although, localisation of Internet traffic by telecommunications operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) has increased lately, Rudman believes that increased collaboration among stakeholders could account for the required rise in traffic.
Accordingly, localising Internet traffic reduces the delays associated with routing local traffic internationally. By the move, the drop in latency increases speed and better quality of service to end-users.
An Internet exchange point (IX or IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which ISPs and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems).
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.
IXPN is an initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that enables ISPs, telecommunications operators, content providers and educational institutions to exchange Internet traffic locally within Nigeria.
Countries including China, South Korea, Egypt, South Africa, among others, have at least 80 percent to 90 percent of their Internet traffic localised. Rudman believed that through collaboration, this is achievable in Nigeria.
The African continent is losing about $800 million annually to routing Internet traffic abroad before coming back to the region. This means that huge amount of funds is wasted on Inter-African traffic. Africa allocates more to overseas Internet carriers to carry African Internet traffic due lack of IXPs.
To curtail this huge spending, the continent has increased its IXPs from
18 to 35 with about five exchange points in Nigeria alone.
Nonetheless, a larger percentage of the Internet traffic in Nigeria is still routed abroad, as the target of the exchange points is to ensure localisation of content created locally and international content meant for Nigeria’s consumption are hosted locally.
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