The Internet Society published the results of a study that demonstrates the far-reaching economic and societal benefits of establishing Internet Exchange Points (or IXPs) in emerging markets.
Over 350 IXPs around the world enable local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet backbone carriers to efficiently and cost effectively exchange Internet traffic between them. Many emerging markets do not have well-established IXPs, forcing domestic Internet traffic onto long-distance international links, resulting in significantly higher costs and latency
In Nigeria, the presence of the IXP has encouraged the repatriation of financial platforms for online banking that were previously hosted overseas, while in Kenya the IXP has helped speed citizens’ access to online tax and customs services offered by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The presence of effective IXPs induced Google to place a cache in both countries in Spring 2011, which has significantly increased the amount of locally distributed content (notably YouTube videos) at faster speeds.Improved access to local content has increased usage, helping to increase the mobile data market by at least US$6 million per year in Kenya.
The study was conducted as part of the Internet Society’s Interconnection and Traffic Exchange Programme, which aims to foster robust, efficient, and cost-effective Internet interconnection environments in emerging economies, and in furtherance of the Internet Society’s overall mission to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.