Impact of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks. Those promoting the use of IXPs in a developing world context (particularly in Africa) have made three main claims for their impact:
- IXPs enable cost savings to be made as a larger proportion of traffic is exchanged using local rather than international bandwidth.
- IXPs improve access speeds for users and cut down delays in downloading.
- IXPs create revenue opportunities because they allow easier hosting of local domains, and improved access speeds make a broader range of applications possible.
This research document, commissioned by OSI, looks at the evidence for these three kinds of impact. In addition, the researchers looked at a fourth type of impact: whether the cost savings from IXPs helped local ISPs to pass on price changes to the end-user. At the center of this report are three case studies covering Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.