|

4. Explaining success: IXP best practices and experiences

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Structure section 4:

  1. 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0
  2. Building a well-functioning IXP – Institutional and policy questions
  3. Taking action to achieve success – Management and operational factors
    1. 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0
    2. Business mindset
    3. Business development
    4. Financial sustainability
    5. Technical sustainability
  4. Lessons learned: IXP Case studies
    1. 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0
    2. The canadian experience: 5 new IXPs in 4 years
    3. An IXP on a remote Pacific Island: the Vanuatu Internet Exchange (VIX)
    4. Creating a national neutral exchange: BNIX Bangkok, Thailand
    5. From a voluntary IXP to a professional organisation: RINEX
  5. Lessons learned from IXP failures

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0  

4. Explaining success: IXP Best Practices and Experiences

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 2 Generally speaking, the success of an IXP should be measured by its ability to sustainably contribute to the development of the Internet ecosystem within its community. However, IXPs are often dependent on environmental factors outside of their direct control. This BPF document will attempt to identify and explore some of these factors in detail

4.1. Building a well-functioning IXP – Institutional and policy questions

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 This section will look at factors that that can play a role in the success of an IXP. The most influential are the environment, the institutional and operational model, the peering policy and peering technique, and the hosting of local content.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0  

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 When looking at the actual state of development of IXPs in the world, two realities can be observed. The first reality are the IXPs that function in an environment accommodated with an adequately developed, and reasonably priced, IP transport capacity and locally stored content. There are few obstacles in such an environment that hinder the IXP to serve as the exchange for IP traffic at the local level between the network operators CDNs and other content providers (banks, NRENs, financial institutions, public administrations, etc.).

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 The second reality is where IXPs develop in an environment that is partially or totally deprived of adequate or reasonably priced IP transport infrastructure and locally stored content. Linked to the question about the available infrastructure is the question about the competitive environment for metro, long-haul and submarine cable. Countries with a national fibre monopoly for their backbone infrastructure might see a slower development of a national internet ecosystem which will also hinder IXP growth.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0  

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 The availability of content that is hosted locally can have a positive impact on the amount of traffic that passes through an IXP. If a substantial amount of content is hosted on networks that connect and peer via the IXP; the higher will be the amount of traffic that is exchanged via the IXP. The higher the amount of traffic, the better the functioning and the sustainability of the IXP. Starting from this reality, the local hosting of content is an important factor for the growth of an IXP. On this, two types of hosting need to be taken into account:

  • 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0
  • The hosting of locally created content has had an influence on the growth of the traffic passing through an IXP. The involvement of partners like software developers, the NREN, financial institutions, the public administration and the owners of data centers is indispensable for the creation of local content. The IXP in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria illustrate this. Another factor is the availability of local hosting for small and medium-sized projects at a reasonable price. For many African countries the reality is that buying hosting from an overseas provider in Europe or the USA is cheaper due to the limited capacity inside the country, and greater economies of scale of global providers. Also the trust – for technical and other reasons – in hosting offers outside the country is often higher than in local hosting. In Rwanda for example, the IXP is involved in a project to create local content and host it within the country; the 10k project aims at 10,000 local websites hosted within Rwanda.
  • The hosting of content from content providers and CDNs. Approaching content providers to deliver their consumer products and services from local cache servers connected to either the IXP directly, or to operators who peer such content at the IXP, has in some locations significantly contributed to the growth of traffic volume at the IXP. The delivery of Google and Akamai cache traffic via certain IXPs in Africa are examples for other IXPs on the continent that desire to grow.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0  

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 The peering policy of an IXP is typically defined as one of three types: bilateral, multilateral, or mandatory multilateral.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 2 A bilateral peering policy allows each network operator to choose which other network operators it wants to exchange traffic with. Peering connections must be manually established through coordinated technical action taken by both parties in the peering relationship. Given the manual work required to establish each peering relationship, bilateral peering can present an increased technical and administrative burden when dealing with large numbers of networks but, it leaves control of whom and how to peer with the peering networks.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0  

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 A multilateral peering policy allows all of the operators connected to the IXP to automatically exchange traffic with each other by making a single connection to a central service called a route server. This makes it easy for network operators to establish and manage large numbers of peering relationships at the exchange. Typically, IXPs that allow multilateral peering also allow bilateral peeing to occur as well, meaning that the route servers which enable multilateral peering can be described as a value added service (VAS).

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0  

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Mandatory multilateral peering (MMLP) is the forced requirement that all network operators peer with each other at the exchange, typically via one or more route servers. This takes away control from the network operators, which can discourage them from joining the exchange if they believe they will be forced to interconnect with networks they would not otherwise choose to peer with. This can hamper the growth of an exchange.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0  

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 The legal status and governance model of an IXP can greatly influence its development trajectory. There are six common legal entity types :

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0  

INSTITUTIONAL MODELS TYPICAL JURIDICAL FORM
Industry associations (e.g. ISPA) Not-for-profit company
Private not-for-profit Not-for-profit company
Private for-profit For-profit company
Academic institution Not-for-profit company
Government Not-for-profit company
Informal None

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 For the purpose of comparison, these six categories can be grouped into two categories: not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.
A majority of IXPs in the United States are for-profit organizations.while the majority of IXPs in Europe, Africa, and South America are not-for-profit organizations.

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 In some countries the IXP’s institutional model and the choice between a for-profit or not-for-profit organisation may depend on local legislation.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 4 IXP business models vary depending on whether an IXP is for-profit or not-for-profit. In general, a for-profit IXP aims to be profitable, while not-for-profit IXPs exchange traffic without the intention of making a profit.

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0  

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Some not-for-profit IXPs will charge for their services based on a cost-recovery model; some will seek external support such as subsidies, sponsorships, or donations. Typically, not-for-profit IXPs will operate under one of the following models: free, subsidized, or independent.

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 The free business model relies on contributions from IXP network members and volunteers. Contributions can be in the form of labour, equipment, transit, or other inputs as per the IXPs needs. The IXP in Seattle, Washington,USA and the IXP in Uganda (UIXP) are examples of the application of this model. IXPs which operate under a free business model often transition to a different business model as growth in the exchange leads to an increase in operating costs and other resource requirements.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 The subsidised business model is based on subsidies from the government or another external entity which sponsors the IXP for a limited period of time. Contributions from IXP members can allow the IXP to take ownership of certain operational costs until the IXP transitions to a fully independent model. The IXP in Nigeria (IXPN) and the IXP in Malaysia can serve as an example of this.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 The independent business model is based on income generated by fees paid by members on a recurring basis. Most of European IXPs, the Kenya IXP (KIXP) and the IXP in Johannesburg (JINX) are a good illustration. Typically this model is introduced when the IXP matures and has proven its value to operators and the ecosystem.

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 For the non-commercial IXPs, the choice of business model is an important factor that impacts the management and sustainability of its operations. IXPs should aim to choose a model which can most effectively and sustainably promote the growth of the IXP, provide value to its members, and develop the Internet ecosystem within its area of operations. The IXP Ecuador, for example, is run as a for-profit business and is pursuing a not-for-profit goal. Its for-profit business model foresees in a Consultative Council with representatives from all members to assure the IXP’s neutral course in the benefit of the local Internet ecosystem.

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 2  

4.2. Taking action to achieve success – management and operational factors

4.2.1. Business Mindset[1]

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0  

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 Why does an IXP needs a business plan?

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 Whether the IXP is for-profit, not for profit or subsidised and regardless of the chosen organisation form, a business planning contributes to the stability, growth, sustainability and long term development of the IXP. Ultimately, a large successful IXP could reach the level of some of the European exchanges which, even as a membership-based IXP, can be businesses employing 50+ people and with turnover of $15m per annum or more[2].

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0  

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 After the thorough preparation of the IXP project, bringing together participants,installing the technology and successfully launching the IXP, the attention needs to shift to the long term growth and sustainability of the IXP.

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0  

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 1 Important: A business mindset does not mean commercialising the IXP!

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0  

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 There are a number of challenges and risks which can compel a not-for-profit IXP to develop a business plan:

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0  

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 Over time, increased traffic and membership can increase demands on the infrastructure and management of the IXP. To cope, an IXP might need new or additional equipment, more space, and/or more people to run it. If the IXP fails to adapt to the increasing demands, the development of the IXP can slow down which can have a negative impact on its members.

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0  

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 Many IXPs are started and/or operated by a small number of highly motivated volunteers. They invest time, knowledge, and sometimes money in the project. Over time, they may detach from the project, sometimes unexpectedly, due to change of jobs, health issues, loss of interest, etc. This can present a risk to the continuity and stability of an IXP.

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0  

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 Many IXPs rely on donated equipment as they do not have money to buy it themselves.. As equipment donations typically do not come with a commitment to repair, replace, or upgrade the equipment when it breaks down or becomes obsolete, the process of planning for and soliciting donations is an ongoing concern for IXPs which rely on them.

4.2.2.  Business Development

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0  

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 1 Developing an IXP is a long term project. In general, the number of active members is one of the important factors. It’ll also influence the attractiveness of the IXP to new members.

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0  

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 An IXP must be visible. If no one knows that an IXP exist and why it exists it will be difficult to attract members and the development will stagnate.

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 The visibility is important and a mixture of awareness raising (‘telling people what you’re doing’) and branding (influence how people see you, eg stable, secure, value of the IXP).

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0  

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 IXPs work in a dynamic environment.  It is important to be  conscious of the commercial  environment and market,  observe trends and understand how the market is developing. Are there direct competitors for the IXPs? Can other factors dramatically change the current situation? A stable and quiet commercial environment can quickly transform in a more competitive market. A good example is a sudden decrease in the cost for international transfer (e.g. resulting from a  higher competition on this market or new undersea cables) which has a direct impact on the cost saving networks could realise by peering at the IXP.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0  

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0  

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 Getting content providers adds an enormous value to an IXP. How to attract a CDN? Typically for CDNs are important the availability and conditions for IP transit, space and power. In return however their presence can lead to a reduction of the total IP transit cost for the community and a much improved user experience.[3]

4.2.3.  Financial Sustainability

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0  

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 As mentioned before the support from volunteers and donors is not a stable ground for IXPs and their unpredictability is a risk factor for the long term stability of the IXP.

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0  

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 Setting up a fee structure and choosing the right fees are not easy decisions.

75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 It is advisable to benchmark with other IXPs, particularly with IXPs of similar size or working in similar environments. There must be a good balance between the value members get from connecting to the IXP and the price they pay for their membership.

76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0  

77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 0 Budget transparency: it is important to show to members what their money is used for. A lack of budget transparency can lead to discussions and questions from cost conscious members, and reduce their trust in the IXP.

78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0  

79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 1 The fee structure will remain a central issue also later on in the life on an IXP and will not disappear after the first couple of years. It is important to ensure that everyone understands where the funds are being allocated. Fund allocation and transparency is key to ensuring success with monetary contributions from members. Having a well thought out budget and roadmap of budget goes a long way.

80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0  

4.2.4   Technical Sustainability

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0  

82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 1 While most IXPs who start may not necessarily have the technical experience to operate the IXP, it is imperative that their technical stakeholders be involved in the community and learn from others. Successful IXPs only grow, and that growth comes with a series of challenges which need to be addressed. IXPs should not be afraid to reach out to the community for assistance or look at other technical leaders for guidance on solutions. While IXPs in general all provide the same base service, how that service is delivered is not equal, either in cost, medium of delivery, or architecture. Each market drives the requirements of services.

83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0  

4.3. Lessons learned from IXP success: Case Studies

4.3.1. The canadian experience: 5 new IXPs in 4 years

84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0  

85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0 Prior to 2012, Canada had only two IXPs, TORIX, in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, and OTTIX, in its capital Ottawa. Since then 5 new ones have been established, often with the involvement and support of the ccTLD manager for Canada, CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. These new IX’s are in Vancouver British Columbia, (VANIX), Calgary Alberta (YYCIX), Winnipeg Manitoba (MBIX), Montreal, Quebec (Échange Internet de Montréal QIX) and Halifax, Nova Scotia (HFXIX). Each of these has its own story – for some the establishment took a number years to achieve, with varying degrees of success. These stories will not be told individually, but rather an attempt is being made to distill the factors which are seen to have contributed to these successes.

86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0  

87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 Canada is by international standards a rich country, but it is also a country of enormous size, which has presented challenges; while it is second only to Russia in area, it is ranked about 230th in population density. A number of these recently established IXPs are in relatively small centers, Winnipeg, population less than 700,000 people and Halifax, with less than 300,000 people. What follows is based on the experience of establishing new IXPs in Canada.

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0  

89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0 Getting Organized – the Pre-Planning

90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 The establishment of an IXP is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end. Its real raison d’être is to facilitate the local exchange of Internet traffic, in order to improve network performance, reduce transit costs to more distant points of exchange and improve network resiliency, by ensuring that local routing of traffic may continue even when an upstream provider experiences outages. It follows that the drivers of any new IXP need to be its potential clients and customers – the entities that may peer.

91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 0 All of these new Canadian IXPs have been established as ‘not-for-profit’ corporations, and are small by international standards – the largest of these new ones is QIX which currently has traffic of about 30G per day, while the smallest has less than 1 gig. To put this in perspective, the long established TORIX has about 300G while LINX has 2.6T. Establishing a new IXP, at least in Canada, means a reliance on an ‘all volunteer’ model, which in all of these recent examples, involves not-for-profit entities. So the first step was to get the local community together because they would serve as the IXPs ‘labour force’ as well as its ‘customer base’.

92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0  

93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0 Getting the Community Together

94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0 In Canada, the manager of .ca, the ccTLD, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) decided to do what it could to stimulate the creation of new IXPs. It announced to the national Internet community its general intention to get involved to support the creation of new IXPs. It received responses from many individuals across the country. Sometimes people responding had already identified like-minded individuals in their area; at other times, CIRA was able to connect them. As a next step, CIRA offered to call a meeting to discuss the establishment of an IXP and publicized it within the local Internet community. It was found that the initial champions were typically from the Internet technical community because they best understand the network performance and potential benefits of an IX.

95 Leave a comment on paragraph 95 0  

96 Leave a comment on paragraph 96 0 Making a Plan

97 Leave a comment on paragraph 97 0 Once a core group of individuals comes together, they need to make a plan. It was not always written but it always considered how to address the essential elements of setting up an IXP:

99 Leave a comment on paragraph 99 0  

100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0 The Switch

101 Leave a comment on paragraph 101 0 Of these the switch is likely the easiest to obtain – it can be a simple $100 piece of gear or a more sophisticated piece of equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars. Some of the Canadian IXPs were established using donations of used equipment while others were able to have new equipment donated.

102 Leave a comment on paragraph 102 0  

103 Leave a comment on paragraph 103 0 Location of the Switch

104 Leave a comment on paragraph 104 0 This is critical. Since the IX’s main customers, at least initially, will be ISPs, the choice of location should be where the ISPs already have, or could easy acquire, infrastructure. The IXP is typically put in an existing co-location facility but the cost of the co-lo (see below) must be reasonable enough to make it affordable. Occasionally, someone, a government perhaps, may offer a free location, but this can be a false economy if the ISPs do not have infrastructure close to it. If it is too costly to get to, many potential peers will not join the IX

105 Leave a comment on paragraph 105 0  

106 Leave a comment on paragraph 106 0 Critical Mass of Peers

107 Leave a comment on paragraph 107 0 Initially, a core group of peers will need to be found in the local community – word of mouth is the best initial way to seek out potential peers and volunteers. Another way is to go to the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) e.g. ARIN, RIPE for a list of entities (companies, governments) in the area who have AS numbers. APNIC has developed a tool that estimates the number of users of each ASN so it can serve as a good source of such information. Many potential customers may already be exchanging traffic at a more distant IXP so their peering lists can be reviewed for possible customers. PCH has a very good IXP directory.

108 Leave a comment on paragraph 108 0  

109 Leave a comment on paragraph 109 0 A Business Plan

110 Leave a comment on paragraph 110 0 In establishing the IXP, a business plan will be needed. This need not initially be too complicated. The IXP will have expenses, so it will need offsetting revenues. These will need to at least balance. So the business plan could initially be just a forecast of expenses and revenues. Later, matters such as expanding the number of peers, acquiring additional equipment, undertaking marketing could be added.

111 Leave a comment on paragraph 111 0 With the need for revenues will come the need to charge peers port fees – or find other sources of funding.  Some IXPs have provided an initial discount on these, as an incentive to join the IXP. Prospective peers will also want to know other things, such as the cost in the co-lo (power, cross connects etc.)

112 Leave a comment on paragraph 112 0 Attached  is a simple spreadsheet with these costs, as well as others which will be discussed below

113 Leave a comment on paragraph 113 0  

114 Leave a comment on paragraph 114 0 Access to Technical Resources

115 Leave a comment on paragraph 115 0 It is likely that many in the nascent IXP group will not have had direct experience in the technical aspects of choosing, installing and configuring a switch. The IXP community is fortunately made up of a number of individuals and organizations who are prepared to help with this. Worldwide, ISOC, RIPE, EuroIX have been very active. In Canada, members of its oldest IX, TORIX in Toronto, as well as representatives of CIRA, the manager of Canada ccTLD, .ca, have been quite active.

116 Leave a comment on paragraph 116 0  

117 Leave a comment on paragraph 117 0 Regulatory Approvals

118 Leave a comment on paragraph 118 0 Unlike many jurisdictions, in Canada a licence from the telecommunications regulator or the ministry is not required to enter the telecommunications marketplace, and this includes establishing an IXP – no licence is required.

119 Leave a comment on paragraph 119 0  

120 Leave a comment on paragraph 120 0 Moving Forward

121 Leave a comment on paragraph 121 0 Once all of the above steps have been taken, a decision will need to be taken on whether to proceed with the IXP. Likely this will mean that a switch has been found, or at least a source for one has been identified, a location chosen, some assessment of costs finished and an initial group of peers established. The next step will be to decide on the governance model.

122 Leave a comment on paragraph 122 0  

123 Leave a comment on paragraph 123 0 Incorporation

124 Leave a comment on paragraph 124 0 At some point, the group, organizing the IX will need to decide whether or not to incorporate. Most IXPs in Canada are incorporated, as ‘not-for-profit’ corporations. Most jurisdictions will provide for equivalent legal arrangements. There are pro’s and con’s to incorporation which will need to be assessed. The main benefits are protection from civil liability – for example, if the switch catches fire in the co-location facility and damages other people’s equipment, it is the corporation and not the people running the IX who would be liable for damages. Incorporation also indicates a certain measure of stability that can be useful in attracting potential peers, content delivery networks (CDNs) in particular. It also simplifies financial management, as any funds will be kept in the name of the corporation and not individuals. This may also be important is soliciting donations, for a switch in particular. Donor organizations may be reluctant to donate money, or transfer ownership of an expensive switch, to an individual.

125 Leave a comment on paragraph 125 0  

126 Leave a comment on paragraph 126 0 There are however downsides to incorporation, in particular, increased overhead costs.   Depending on the jurisdiction of operation, actual incorporation may require a lawyer, the drafting of bylaws, payment for auditing of books and records, insurance for directors etc. Some IXPs delayed actual incorporation until many other start-up issues have been addressed, but all have ended up doing this.

127 Leave a comment on paragraph 127 0  

128 Leave a comment on paragraph 128 0 Board of Directors

129 Leave a comment on paragraph 129 0 Typically, the initial organizing group will become the board of directors of the incorporated IXP. In choosing an initial board, care must be taken in choosing the terms for board members – these should not all be the same to avoid having them all expire at the same time. Also, expiry of terms will serve as a catalyst to seek out new directors who will often serve as volunteers for the organization. A diversity of skill sets among directors is desirable – see below.

130 Leave a comment on paragraph 130 0  

131 Leave a comment on paragraph 131 0 The organization will need to establish how frequently to meet and what represents a quorum in terms of decision-making. Regardless of whether the IX is incorporated or not, individuals will need to be chosen to take on key tasks, in particular that of chair and treasurer. Incorporated entities will also need a secretary who will take minutes etc.

132 Leave a comment on paragraph 132 0 In fulfilling these rolls, individuals with previous experience are extremely useful, such as experience

133 Leave a comment on paragraph 133 0 o   in leading – to be the chair

134 Leave a comment on paragraph 134 0 o   in financial management – to help with business planning

135 Leave a comment on paragraph 135 0 o   in legal matters, to help with incorporation

136 Leave a comment on paragraph 136 0 o   in other volunteer board work – to help with the actual management of board meetings.

137 Leave a comment on paragraph 137 0  

138 Leave a comment on paragraph 138 0 Many successful IXPs have adopted ‘term limits’ for board members to ensure that there is a continual influx of fresh people, with new ideas and to avoid burnout from overreliance on a small number of individuals.

139 Leave a comment on paragraph 139 0 Importance of Regular Board Meetings

140 Leave a comment on paragraph 140 0 It will important to establish a set of books and records, so as to take the financial position of the IXP as it is, in effect, a small business. This is ordinarily the responsibility of the treasurer. If the business plan that was formulated to establish the IXP was not written, or even if it was, it will need to be continually updated, to include longer term forecasts of revenues and expenses to aid the overall management.

141 Leave a comment on paragraph 141 0  

142 Leave a comment on paragraph 142 0 Marketing

143 Leave a comment on paragraph 143 0 Once an IX is established, it will likely only have a very few number of peers – it will want to seek out more peers in order to improve the benefits for existing peers, as well as for the local economy and provide more revenue to sustain operations. This involves doing some marketing. A formal marketing plan need not be complicated; it can be as simple as taking the list of potential peers, developed from the list of local and regional AS number holders, and asking different members of the IX and/or board to contact them.

144 Leave a comment on paragraph 144 0  

145 Leave a comment on paragraph 145 0 The Canadian Success

146 Leave a comment on paragraph 146 0 TORIX, Toronto Internet Exchange, https://www.torix.ca/

147 Leave a comment on paragraph 147 0 OTTIX, Ottawa Internet Exchange, http://ottix.net

148 Leave a comment on paragraph 148 0 VANIX, Vancouver Internet Exchange, http://www.vanix.ca

149 Leave a comment on paragraph 149 0 YYCIX, Calgary Internet Exchange, http://yycix.ca

150 Leave a comment on paragraph 150 0 MBIX, Manitoba Internet Exchange, http://www.mbix.ca

151 Leave a comment on paragraph 151 0 QIX, Echange INternet de Montréal, http://www.qix.ca

152 Leave a comment on paragraph 152 0 HFXIX, Halifax Internet Exchange, https://hfxix.ca

153 Leave a comment on paragraph 153 0  

154 Leave a comment on paragraph 154 0 Case Study by Allan MacGillivray, CIRA

4.3.2. Establishing an IXP on a remote Pacific Island: Vanuatu Internet Exchange

155 Leave a comment on paragraph 155 0  

156 Leave a comment on paragraph 156 0 The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu is located some 1,750 km east of Australia and 500 km north-east of New Caledonia. The 83 Islands in the archipelago together form an area of 12,189 km² or 4,706 sq miles inhabited by approximately 285,000 people. Most of the population is rural but over 20% lives in the two largest cities Port Vila and Luganville. The capital city, Port Vila, counts more than 30,000 inhabitants.

157 Leave a comment on paragraph 157 0 Since January 2014 Vanuatu is connected to the international submarine cable system via a cable linking Port Vila via Fiji into the high capacity Southern Cross cable between Australia and the USA.[4] Before, Vanuatu was only connected to the Internet via satellite connections.

158 Leave a comment on paragraph 158 0 The Vanuatu Internet Exchange Point (VIX) started its activities in 2013. It is an example of the successful cooperation between the Government, the Regulator and the country’s network operators.

159 Leave a comment on paragraph 159 0 Regulator picking up the idea from network engineers and facilitating the process

160 Leave a comment on paragraph 160 0 In informal discussions on the development of the Internet in Vanuatu, the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR)[5] learned from local network engineers that Vanuatu was missing a common point to connect and exchange traffic between networks. In 2012, the Regulator called a meeting with representative from all network operators and launched the plan to establish the national Vanuatu Internet Exchange Point (VIX).

161 Leave a comment on paragraph 161 0 The plan received unanimous support from the operators, and TRR was able to move fast to the next step. After the initial meeting a VIX Committee with representatives from the regulator, the government and the operators started to investigate the technical requirements for the IXP. The Committee also prepared a policy document and drafted a MoU for IXP members to sign upon joining.

162 Leave a comment on paragraph 162 0 Already in December 2012 MoUs were signed between the government and four network operators. The incumbent telco – although actively involved in the preparatory talks – would only joined later, in 2014. Today, all Vanuatu’s ISPs and the government institutions are connected to the IXP.

163 Leave a comment on paragraph 163 0 Government Datacenter as neutral location

164 Leave a comment on paragraph 164 0 VIX is operating from the government datacenter. The datacenter is centrally located in Port Vila and has a good connection for ISPs over fiber and wireless. The government is offering the collocation space for free and covers the operational costs of the IXP (electricity, acclimatization, etc.).

165 Leave a comment on paragraph 165 0 Training and setting up VIX

166 Leave a comment on paragraph 166 0 VIX received foreign support from different organisations to set up the IXP and provide training for the network operators and their technical staff. Amongst other APNIC, NSRC, PCH, Google, Netnod and PITA helped to create and develop VIX. In March 2013 for example, APNIC conducted a two-day workshop in Port Vila for the participants of the IXP. The network operators were taught the basics on the OSPF[6] and BGP[7] protocols and learned how to connect their networks to VIX.

167 Leave a comment on paragraph 167 0 A few months after the launch of VIX, a Google cache server and an instance of the I-root and E-root server were installed at VIX. The effects on the traffic are clearly visible in the graph below. The amount of traffic started to grow and even outperformed the expectations. VIX would soon be confronted with a traffic volume that flirted with the limits of the IP transit capacity. The time and negotiations needed to solve the issue slowed down the growth of the IXP.

168 Leave a comment on paragraph 168 0 Predicting traffic and making a right assessment of the transit capacity that will be needed is essential for a starting IXP. Insufficient capacity can cause problems and slow down the development of the IXP, as occurred for VIX in 2015. For the people at VIX had been extremely difficult to predict the transit capacity because there were not many cases of starting IXPs in countries with similar characteristics to Vanuatu to learn from.

169 Leave a comment on paragraph 169 0 In 2016 Akamai servers were installed on Vanuatu and VIX continues to look at other global CDNs (Cloudflare, Netflix), but there are no concrete plans yet.

170 Leave a comment on paragraph 170 0 Creating local content and generating local traffic

171 Leave a comment on paragraph 171 0 Now that Google and Akamai are present at the IXP, the focus has shifted from getting CDNs connected to VIX to generating local traffic by creating more local and locally stored content. A lot of websites from local media (newspapers, tv, radio) and local companies are still hosted overseas. It proofs to be very difficult to convince these companies to move their content to local servers. Many of them don’t see the benefits, they do not find a competitive local hosting package or they have doubts about the security and service quality of local hosting providers.

172 Leave a comment on paragraph 172 0 The Vanuatu Government is leading by example. It has all its content hosted locally and its network is connected to VIX. Accessing and browsing government websites is stable and fast.

173 Leave a comment on paragraph 173 0  

174 Leave a comment on paragraph 174 0 Case study by Jethro Webston (VIX) and the Internet Society.

175 Leave a comment on paragraph 175 0  

4.3.3. Creating a national neutral exchange: Bangkok Neutral Internet Exchange, Thailand

176 Leave a comment on paragraph 176 0 BKNIX, the Bangkok Neutral Internet Exchange is the first neutral Internet exchange in Thailand and a pioneer in Southeast Asia. BKNIX launched in 2015. Ten members joined BKNIX in the first year. BKNIX is managed by the Thai Network Information Center Foundation (THNIC)[8]. THNIC is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the development of the Internet in Thailand. THNIC is also the manager of the .th domain name.

177 Leave a comment on paragraph 177 0 An Expanding Internet without a neutral exchange

178 Leave a comment on paragraph 178 0 The Internet in Thailand showed a steady growth in the past 25 years. Network operators and Internet service providers in different parts of the country established businesses and built networks. They invested in infrastructure to connect their clients to the Internet and developed a business model for their organisation. Providers concluded commercial agreements with other providers in the same region to exchange traffic amongst each other; they bought transport capacity from commercial carriers and made individual arrangements with providers and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) outside of Thailand. Thailand had nine exchange points before BKNIX was launched, but they were all transit exchanges where no peering is done between the connected networks.

179 Leave a comment on paragraph 179 0 In absence of a central point for networks to connect and exchange traffic, the communication from one network to another often passes through several hubs and networks before reaching its destination. Data from a domestic sender to a domestic receiver is frequently routed outside of Thailand and sent back. The complex route data travels has a negative impact on latency and cost.

180 Leave a comment on paragraph 180 0 The Internet providers that invested in deals with content provider networks and caches outside of Thailand, have no incentive to share this direct connection with their competitors and their competitor’s clients in Thailand. Providers have the choice to either invest time and money in their own direct link with the CDNs or look for indirect (expensive) solutions.

181 Leave a comment on paragraph 181 0 Without a neutral IXP, the internet in Thailand is more expensive, of poorer quality and knows a delay in data transmission.

182 Leave a comment on paragraph 182 0 Advocating and seeking support for a neutral IXP

183 Leave a comment on paragraph 183 0 Thailand’s Internet pioneer professor Kanchana Kanchanasut[9] played an important role in raising awareness and advocating the benefits of a neutral Internet Exchange. She noticed that in Thailand “The ISPs were interested in working together but were unable to move on to a better setup because it wasn’t financially or technically easy for any of them to run an IXP. What was needed was a “neutral party” that wouldn’t favor one ISP over any other, and that could help create trust in the community.”[10]

184 Leave a comment on paragraph 184 0 Professor Kanchanasut reached out to a number of international partners and organisations that had been supporting IXP projects in other countries[11]. Organisations and companies such as the Internet Society, Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco showed interest in the plans for a neutral IXP in Thailand.

185 Leave a comment on paragraph 185 0 Securing practical support from international partners was fairly easy. But the main work needed to be done inside the country: raise awareness, make people understand the benefits of an IXP and gain the support of the local stakeholders. An IXP needs to be carried by a supportive local community. Building this community costs time and energy, and is a never ending task that continues even after the launch of the IXP.

186 Leave a comment on paragraph 186 0 In 2013 THNIC organised a workshop[12] to educate ISPs, the government, and the regulator on the function and the benefits of a neutral IXP. The idea to create BKNIX was well received and THNIC proceeded with appointing a project manager and putting together a project team. The members of the project team came from ISPs, THNIC and NECTEC[13], which is the government agency tasked to promote and support IT development. The project team, lead by Mr. Chaya Limchitti, and was tasked to identify potential peers and search for a suitable neutral location to store the IXP’s equipment.

187 Leave a comment on paragraph 187 0 The project team reported on its activities at a follow up workshop in 2014 and proposed a location to host BKNIX. The preparations to establish BKNIX started immediately after this workshop and Thailand’s neutral IXP launched on 9 February 2015.

188 Leave a comment on paragraph 188 0 Selection of a neutral location

189 Leave a comment on paragraph 189 0 The project team had looked at several colocation providers and made site visits to check the suitability of datacenters to host BKNIX’s equipment. The ideal location had to be operated by a neutral operator, was reachable by a neutral carrier[14] and met the technical and security requirements to host an IXP.

190 Leave a comment on paragraph 190 0 The BKNIX required the collocation space to:

191 Leave a comment on paragraph 191 0 1)   have optical cable access from all carrier providers;

192 Leave a comment on paragraph 192 0 2)   be neutral in the sense that no existing ISP could have a competitive advantage form the IXP’s location;

193 Leave a comment on paragraph 193 0 3)   be ready and immediately operational;

194 Leave a comment on paragraph 194 0 4)   be a world class facility (room, electricity, air conditioning, security, etc.);

195 Leave a comment on paragraph 195 0 5)   be in a low risk area (low risk on natural disasters, riots, etc);

196 Leave a comment on paragraph 196 0 6)   be able to make a long term commitment to host BKNIX;

197 Leave a comment on paragraph 197 0 7)   have enough room/space for potential future growth.

198 Leave a comment on paragraph 198 0 Finding the right location was more complex and delicate than expected. There were no neutral data centers or web hotels in Thailand. Almost all existing data centers that were offering colocation space to external clients were owned by network operators, ISPs or their parent companies. Hosting BKNIX in a data center controlled by a potential member or competitor to future members can easily compromise the belief in the neutrality of the IXP. This neutrality is a key element to establish trust in the Exchange. A lack of trust, or the suspicion that one member benefits more than the others could be a reason for peers not to join BKNIX.

199 Leave a comment on paragraph 199 0 In addition and to assure carrier neutrality, the project team sought for a location that is served by multiple carriers so that members can select the carrier of their choice to reach BKNIX.

200 Leave a comment on paragraph 200 0 There were a few data centers that met the criteria. Of them, the one with the highest score was chosen to host BKNIX. The location[15] is served by all carrier providers that are active in Thailand.

201 Leave a comment on paragraph 201 0 Plans are being made to launch at second location in Bangkok. A single location is a single point of failure. At the moment, most of the members only have one link to the IXP. The second location will serve as backup link.

202 Leave a comment on paragraph 202 0 Training and equipment

203 Leave a comment on paragraph 203 0 With the help of the Internet Society the BKNIX project team got in touch with a number of external partners that were instrumental for the launch of the IXP. Alcatel-Lucent, for example, sponsored a router and provided training. Cisco-Systems donated a switch.

204 Leave a comment on paragraph 204 0 BKNIX – management and organisation

205 Leave a comment on paragraph 205 0 BKNIX is a project of the THNIC Foundation. The THNIC foundation’s Board of Directors is the decision taking body of the IXP. The five members of the THNIC Board have an academic background.

206 Leave a comment on paragraph 206 0 Members organize and finance their connection (fiber) to the BKNIX location. They pay one-time setup fee (10,000 THB) to get connected to BKNIX and are charged yearly port fees. There are different port fees depending on the port size (10,000/month 1Gbps, 50,000/month 10Gbps, 400,000/month 100Gbps).

207 Leave a comment on paragraph 207 0 The port fees were waived for those joining BKNIX during the first year. Members that now join get a three-month free trial period after which they have to confirm their membership. So far, only one ISP canceled its membership after the initial trial period. The reason for cancelling was a merger into a larger IXP.

208 Leave a comment on paragraph 208 0 From no till 10 peers in the first year

209 Leave a comment on paragraph 209 0 Within the first year 10 members joined BKNIX and traffic peaked at 70 Gbps. More local ISPs have expressed interest in joining.

210 Leave a comment on paragraph 210 0 Since its launch in February 2015 BKNIX is reaching out to as many ISPs as possible. Small and large ISPs are equally welcome. However, experience from IXPs in other countries has learned that it takes time to convince the larger and incumbent providers while smaller ISPs are keener to connect early on. It is very attractive for smaller providers to only have to pay for one connection and be able to exchange traffic directly with several networks in the country.

211 Leave a comment on paragraph 211 0 The older and more established Internet providers have their structure and business plan in place. They invested in contracts with carriers, CDNs and other providers. Their current business model is based on an environment without an IXP and it takes time to adapt. It is a challenge to convince the larger players to connect to BKNIX. The large ISPs follow how BKNIX is developing, which is a positive sign, but they are cautious. All Thailand’s large ISPs attended the first BKNIX Peering Forum[16] in May 2016.

212 Leave a comment on paragraph 212 0 One of Thailand’s large streaming providers and one of the larger last mile providers already peer at BKNIX. Traffic peaks are visible during big events (e.g. football games). At the time of writing talks are ongoing to connect one of Thailand’s mobile operators to join BKNIX. (expected to be effective later in 2016). More local ISPs have expressed interest in joining. Soon a first CDN will connect to BKNIX: Akamai confirmed that it’ll will ship and install equipment starting from June 2016. Contacts with other global CDNs are ongoing.

213 Leave a comment on paragraph 213 0 The Thailand Digital Economy and Society Development Plan

214 Leave a comment on paragraph 214 0 In 2016 the Thai Government announced a Thailand Digital Economy and Society Development Plan, which amongst other, wants to build a country-wide high-capacity digital infrastructure (strategy 1) and turn Thailand into a ASEAN connectivity hub. The presence of BKNIX makes Bangkok and Thailand attractive for foreign and international companies and BKNIX can play a key role in obtaining the government’s goals.

215 Leave a comment on paragraph 215 0 Website: http://www.bknix.co.th

216 Leave a comment on paragraph 216 0 BKNIX presentation movie: https://youtu.be/WJYvOXrv-OU

217 Leave a comment on paragraph 217 0 Case study by Chaya Limchitti and Pernsi Arun (BKNIX) and the Internet Society

218 Leave a comment on paragraph 218 0  

219 Leave a comment on paragraph 219 0  

4.3.4. From a voluntary IXP to professional organisation: Rwanda Internet Exchange

220 Leave a comment on paragraph 220 0  

221 Leave a comment on paragraph 221 0 By the end of the 1990ies Internet providers and community members in Rwanda discussed the potential benefits that an IXP could bring to the country. The Rwandan Government, through its Information and Technology Agency (RITA), and with the support of the Swedish international Development and cooperation Agency (SIDA)[17], started an initiative that would lead to the creation of RINEX, the national peering point. As part of this project, technical staff of local ISPs were trained on how to connect their networks to an IXP and how to configure the traffic flows over the exchange.

222 Leave a comment on paragraph 222 0 2004-2014: from a voluntary IXP to a professional organization

223 Leave a comment on paragraph 223 0 In 2004 RINEX was a fact. RITA, the government agency, kept the responsibility over the RINEX project when two peers, Rwandatel (the then state owned incumbent) and MTN Rwandacell agreed to exchange traffic via RINEX. Finding a suitable and neutral location to host the equipment was a major issue.

224 Leave a comment on paragraph 224 0 At the beginning, RINEX equipment was placed at the Rwandatel data center because there was no suitable neutral location available in the country. Later, RINEX was moved to a neutral hosting facility at the Telecom House building in Kigali, where it was hosted first free of charge, and later against a fee.

225 Leave a comment on paragraph 225 0 Members of RINEX must hold a valid license or business certificate to operate an Internet or Data service provider in Rwanda or any other country.

226 Leave a comment on paragraph 226 0 The early RINEX had no organizational structure of its own. It existed because network operators agreed to connect and exchange traffic. In absence of a sector organization there was a lightweight structure under the government agency (RITA). The technical operation was in the hands of a group of volunteers, most of them employees with either of the IXP’s peers.

227 Leave a comment on paragraph 227 0 2014 – 2016: RINEX managed by RICTA, a non-for-profit

228 Leave a comment on paragraph 228 0 In 2014, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) officially handed over the management of RINEX to an independent not-for-profit organization. The MoU was signed between RURA, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority[18] and RICTA, the Rwanda Information & Communication Technology Association[19]. RICTA is a not-for-profit organization representing the interests of the Rwandan Internet Community. The local Internet community members founded RICTA in 2005 to request the re-delegation of the .rw country code domain name (ccTLD) and bring its management back to Rwanda. In 2011, RICTA was officially established as a not-for-profit limited organization and is since 2012 the official manager of the .rw ccTLD.

229 Leave a comment on paragraph 229 0 In the MoU signed with the Regulator, RICTA commits to managing RINEX and transforming the volunteer model into a professional organization. The current MoU is up for renewal in 2017.

230 Leave a comment on paragraph 230 0 The community supported the decision to place RINEX’ management in the hands of RICTA. It was a logical next step: RICTA was the first and only not-for-profit in Rwanda; RICTA was a working organization, with own staff and budget; and RICTA had already proven to be capable of managing the .rw ccTLD. Both the .rw registry and the exchange are considered as national critical infrastructure in Rwanda.

231 Leave a comment on paragraph 231 0 Fee Structure

232 Leave a comment on paragraph 232 0 RINEX charges no setup fee to connect to the IXP. Members have to pay a yearly port fee, which depends on the port speed. Members can chose between 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps ports. The detailed fee structure is published on the RINEX website: http://www.rinex.org.rw/?-Pricing- .

233 Leave a comment on paragraph 233 0 Location and operation

234 Leave a comment on paragraph 234 0 Finding a neutral facility to host RINEX was a challenge at the beginning. RINEX had to obtain its own independent premises with electricity supply, backup power, security, and air conditioning, suitable to host an IXP. The academic entities in Rwanda were lacking appropriate physical facilities and none of the private ISPs had the capacity to host it. Therefor it was decided to host the IXP at the premises of the incumbent telecom operator, Rwandatel. Many of the Internet providers in Rwanda were already connected to the Rwandatel datacenter, which made it easier for them to connect to RINEX at the start.

235 Leave a comment on paragraph 235 0 However, few years later, RINEX was relocated into a neutral facility at the Telecom House building in Kigali, in a small datacenter room owned by the then called RITA (Rwanda Information Technology Authority).

236 Leave a comment on paragraph 236 0 Since 2014, RINEX is renting collocation space for its infrastructure. The infrastructure is now hosted at the Virtual Landing Point-VLP room, a neutral facility, managed by Broadband Systems Corporation-BSC, still at the Telecom House in Kigali.

237 Leave a comment on paragraph 237 0 The RICTA/RINEX staff occupies two offices in the same building. The Rwanda Development Board-RDB offers the office space free of charge. The rent for the colocation space and all other operational expenditures (including staff wages) are paid from revenues generated by RICTA.

238 Leave a comment on paragraph 238 0 Recently, in April 2016 and with the support of an African Union grant, RINEX scaled up its infrastructure from 1 Gbps to 10Gbps port size. At the moment, RINEX hasn’t yet met its full capacity.

239 Leave a comment on paragraph 239 0 Accessing Content via RINEX

240 Leave a comment on paragraph 240 0 All government content can be accessed via RINEX. Members have access to a local instance of the DNS I, E and J Root name servers, which connect to RINEX. VeriSign also provides DNS services for the .com and .net domain names at RINEX.

241 Leave a comment on paragraph 241 0 Since mid 2013 RINEX members can connect to a Global Google Cache (GGC). In October 2014, a local AKAMAI cluster was turned on in Rwanda, which is accessible via RINEX. Both content caches can be accessed under a paid peering model.

242 Leave a comment on paragraph 242 0 Effect of RINEX for the Internet in Rwanda

243 Leave a comment on paragraph 243 0 RINEX has lowered the costs for its members and increased the quality of the Internet in Rwanda. The networks that are connected to RINEX exchange traffic directly with their peers. They no longer have to pay for expensive transit to exchange data at a hub outside Rwanda. Moreover, the direct exchange via RINEX shortens the distance over which data has to travel and avoids “traffic tromboning”. This decreases latency and end users will experience a faster working Internet. The access to the DNS root server instances will speed up DNS look-ups, which also improves the end-user experience.

244 Leave a comment on paragraph 244 0 The traffic volume through RINEX increased up to fourfold after the GGC connected to the Exchange. Before, (YouTube) videos, which consume a lot of bandwidth, took a long time to load and as a result people were not interested. The videos now load much faster from the GGC in Rwanda. The lower latency led to a better user experience and created more (new) traffic.[20]

245 Leave a comment on paragraph 245 0 Based on results provided by Akamai, a study by the Internet Society described the effect of the Akamai cluster as follows: ‘By hosting content in a local cache, latency decreased, making it faster for users to access the content. (…) (L)atency also impacts the resulting throughput of data – and the Akamai data show just how significantly throughput is impacted. Prior to locating the cache in Rwanda, the vast majority of users – around 90% – experienced throughput below 500 kbps when accessing relevant content abroad. The day the cache was turned on, 50% of these users saw throughput exceed 500 kbps, in some cases by quite a bit – 5% of the users experienced throughput in excess of 20 Mbps, accessing the same content, using the same mode of access.”[21] Throughput is a measurement for the amount of information that is processed in a given time frame.

246 Leave a comment on paragraph 246 0 Reaching the IXP – the peers’ main challenge

247 Leave a comment on paragraph 247 0 RINEX is a simple Layer2 based IXP. Each network operator is responsible to connect its backbone to the IXP and has to provide the router that connects to the IXP switch. The equipment located at the RINEX premises consists of the IXP core switch, member routers, and/or communications equipment.

248 Leave a comment on paragraph 248 0 Physically reaching RINEX is complex and expensive. Peers can use fiber, microwave or copper to connect to the infrastructure at the Rwanda Telecom House. But either way, it is a burden for the network operators, in particular if they are not based or present in the capital Kigali. Some Internet providers are interested in peering at RINEX, but are not capable to connect to the IXP because they need to invest in several kilometers of fiber to pay/lease high fees to a third party carrier for the data transport between the own network and RINEX. This situation slows down the development of RINEX.

249 Leave a comment on paragraph 249 0 A second location, which could also serve as backup location, would make RINEX better reachable for some of the ISP that are not yet connected. There is a plan to launch a second location. However, even with a second location in a different city, the problem will remain for peers that are located further away.

250 Leave a comment on paragraph 250 0 The price for IP transit within Rwanda is high compared to other countries that are not landlocked (e.g. near submarine cable landing points in Mombasa or Dar-es-salaam), but IP transit wholesale prices are decreasing year-on-year.

251 Leave a comment on paragraph 251 0 In addition, RICTA/RINEX is actively advocating at any possible forum to introduce a price differentiation between the cost for international transit and local loops. As a result of this price differentiation, sending traffic over a local loop to exchange it at RINEX should become cheaper than sending it abroad and back. The current high price of local loop circuits is not stimulating providers to store local content locally. It was one of the topics discussed at the 2015 Rwanda Internet Governance Forum (RwIGF), where it was concluded that: ‘In terms of local loop there is no current differentiation which is something operators will be considering to be put in place and will be taken as a recommendation to be worked on.’[22]

252 Leave a comment on paragraph 252 0 Affordable local hosting and the Rwanda We hosting project

253 Leave a comment on paragraph 253 0 “RINEX has had a beneficial impact on local Internet services in Rwanda, but its ultimate potential as a catalyst for growing the broader Rwandan Internet ecosystem has been limited by the lack of locally hosted content.”[23]

254 Leave a comment on paragraph 254 0  

255 Leave a comment on paragraph 255 0 The availability of affordable local hosting is another challenge that slows down the growth of RINEX and the expansion of the Internet in Rwanda. The possibilities to host content locally are expensive and are still a niche market for those capable of paying the high hosting fees. There are no packages for small content providers that can compete with the offers from providers outside the country that offer (almost) unlimited space and substantial computing capacity at a very low price.

256 Leave a comment on paragraph 256 0 RICTA launched the Rwanda We Hosting project to support the creation of local content. The project was originally called  “10k project” referring to 10,000 websites hosted within Rwanda, but in the meantime the project set its aim higher.  The project wants to enable a local hosting business environment in Rwanda. Rwanda We Hosting works with local partners to build a subsidy model with the aim to start bringing existing local content back to Rwanda from wherever it is hosted at the moment, and to create new content. Rwanda We Hosting is expected to achieve between 2,000 and 3,000 locally hosted websites/domain names in the next 3 years. RICTA works closely with RURA (i.e. The Rwanda Utilities and  Regulatory Authority) and the Internet Society (ISOC) on this project.

257 Leave a comment on paragraph 257 0  

258 Leave a comment on paragraph 258 0 Case Study by Ghislain Nkeramugaba (RINEX) and the Internet Society.

259 Leave a comment on paragraph 259 2  

4.3.5. From a sustainable development project to a successful IXP: Bangladesh Internet Exchange (BDIX)

260 Leave a comment on paragraph 260 0 The Bangladesh Internet Exchange (BDIX) was created in 2004 when some pioneering ISPs in Bangladesh linked their networks together to exchange traffic locally with the intention to increase speed and quality of service and reduce costs by avoiding international transit for local traffic. BDIX was the first Internet exchange in Bangladesh.

261 Leave a comment on paragraph 261 0 The ISPs were convinced of the benefits of an IXP but needed to find the technical know-how and financial support to set up and manage an IXP.  BDIX could count on the support of several national and international technical specialists and received its initial technical equipment (switches, routers, etc) from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In June 2014 BDIX received a license from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to operate as national Internet exchange. Since 2004 BDIX is running as a not-for-profit IXP.

262 Leave a comment on paragraph 262 0 BDIX grew from 10 ISPs-members in 2004 to a diverse membership of more than 75 organisations in 2016. ISPs but also mobile operators and content providers are now peering at the IXP and BDIX is also hosting amongst other mirrors of the D, E, F and J Root Servers, VeriSign TLD servers, PCH looking glass and .org mirror an NTP servers, etc.

263 Leave a comment on paragraph 263 0 BDIX is a Layer 2 Internet Exchange point – each network provides its own router and traffic is exchanged via an Ethernet switch –  and supports both IPv4 and IPv6. Network operators have the choice between 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps ports to connect to the IXP. Members pay a one-time contribution per port and a monthly fee which depends on the port size.

264 Leave a comment on paragraph 264 0 The traffic at BDIX increased year over year. The average traffic in 2009 50 Mbps, by 2015 average traffic had increased to 5200 Mbps and will reach 8200 Mbps for 2016.

265 Leave a comment on paragraph 265 0 BDIX is expecting to grow as more ISPs and telco’s are planning to join. Work is underway to open a second PoP outside of the capital city Dhaka.

266 Leave a comment on paragraph 266 0 Challenges

267 Leave a comment on paragraph 267 0 The Regulatory Commission, after issuing a license for the operation of the IXP, now has plans to regulate the tariff IXPs have to charge to their members. The license also suggests that BDIX needs to peer with other IXPs in the country which is challenging and may damage the IXP eco system.

268 Leave a comment on paragraph 268 0 Case study contributed by Sumon A. Sabir, http://www.bdix.net

269 Leave a comment on paragraph 269 0  

4.3.6. From a natural disaster to a new IXP business model: IXP Ecuador

270 Leave a comment on paragraph 270 0 On 16 April 2016 Ecuador was struck by a severe earthquake which caused destruction and casualties around the country and mainly in the coastal provinces Manabi and Esmeraldas.  The earthquake indirectly lead to the creation of a new IXP in Ecuador.

271 Leave a comment on paragraph 271 0 Ecuador has a large number – around 300 – small ISPs that often work as resellers for Internet plans for one of the big providers in the country. Many of these small ISPs do not have their own IPs or ASN. Efforts in the past, to organise the small ISPs and create an IXP were unsuccessful due to a lack of funds.

272 Leave a comment on paragraph 272 0 Already before the earthquake, many of the small ISPs suffered under the poor condition of the national economy. The earthquake made their position worse. On top of this, there is the aggressive competition with the big Internet players in the country. Dozens of ISPs were obliged to reduced their business to cope with the economic situation.Connecting to the existing IXP is very expensive for these small companies, and many were left out of business.

273 Leave a comment on paragraph 273 0 A number of small IXPs finally decided to create an IXP, IXP Ecuador. IXP Ecuador is a for profit IXP that functions under the umbrella of a business partner that is financing the infrastructure, the connection, the operational and administrative costs, and provides the ISPs with access to the IXPs, and with their own IPs and ASNs. The IXP Ecuador developed a competitive and sustainable business model for everybody.  

274 Leave a comment on paragraph 274 0 IXP Ecuador could count on the support of ISOC Ecuador, the ecuadorian chapter of Internet Society, and of Google.

275 Leave a comment on paragraph 275 0 The project plans  15+ IXP nodes all around the country, of which the first 3 nodes have already been installed and are operational.

276 Leave a comment on paragraph 276 0 While the IXP Ecuador is run as a for profit IXP, all of its members  are represented in the Consultive Council of the Company, to assure that the IXPs decisions are in the benefit of the IXP members and the Internet Users.

277 Leave a comment on paragraph 277 0 Case study contributed by Carlos Vera,  Ecuador

278 Leave a comment on paragraph 278 0 http://www.ixp.ec

279 Leave a comment on paragraph 279 0  

4.3.7.  CABASE – Developing a network of regional IXPs in Argentina  

280 Leave a comment on paragraph 280 0 Introduction

281 Leave a comment on paragraph 281 0 CABASE – la Cámara Argentina de Internet  (the Argentine Chamber of Internet) launched its first IXP in 1998. The IXP was located in a neutral site in the Buenos Aires area, had 18 members connected, and was the first IXP in Argentina and probably also in the LAC region, to exchange traffic locally among its members.

282 Leave a comment on paragraph 282 0 Before the IXP existed, the traffic among ISPs based in Argentina was exchanged in Miami. Therefore, at that time the main driver to create an IXP was the wish to keep Argentine  traffic  within the country. Soon the members discovered other benefits, e.g. that an IXP also allows them to have a better quality and is a more efficient method of traffic exchange.

283 Leave a comment on paragraph 283 0 The peering agreement was based on a multilateral model and the IXP’s expenses were distributed among the members.

284 Leave a comment on paragraph 284 0 CABASE always promoted that IXPs are best run as a collaborative effort of the members and should support the development of a strong technical community for having a better and larger Internet in Argentina.

285 Leave a comment on paragraph 285 0 Since 2010 and under the umbrella of the Broadband Access Federalization initiative, CABASE created more new IXPs. They were originally called Regional IXPs as they were located outside of the capital city of Buenos Aires.

286 Leave a comment on paragraph 286 0 To date, CABASE has 21 IXPs around the country with more than 350 members connected to them. CABASE is a non-profit organization as well as are its IXPs.

287 Leave a comment on paragraph 287 0 From the beginning, the CABASE IXPs have been  open to hosts community initiatives like Root Servers, Anycast DNS nodes, etc. from the beginning

288 Leave a comment on paragraph 288 0 Members

289 Leave a comment on paragraph 289 0 Members of CABASE are not just ISPs, but also Universities, Government Agencies, CDNs and other organizations belonging to the Internet Community and that wants to share its traffic with the rest of the IXP´s members.

290 Leave a comment on paragraph 290 0 To become a member it is required to have an ASN. CABASE does not limit the right to participate only to Argentine organizations, so International companies can also be members of the IXPs.

291 Leave a comment on paragraph 291 0 Peering Agreements

292 Leave a comment on paragraph 292 0 The IXPs members can have Multilateral and Bilateral Peering agreements, but multilateral peering is mandatory for everyone.  The reason for this policy is to protect small ISPs of potential discrimination from the larger members.

293 Leave a comment on paragraph 293 0 Regional IXPs

294 Leave a comment on paragraph 294 0 In 2005, the incumbent operators left, which made some people fear for  the survival of the IXP. In 2010 reinforced its believe in the future of the IXP and created a second IXP in the country. It  was created in Neuquén, an important city in the south west of Argentina. In Neuquén, as in other regions out of Buenos Aires, the option to get an Internet connection was either the incumbent operator or the choice between the incumbent and a big carrier. As a result, the prices for Internet very high.

295 Leave a comment on paragraph 295 0 The creation of the IXP, not only resulted in an immediate and important drop in cost for connectivity, it also increased the  availability of bandwidth for the region.

296 Leave a comment on paragraph 296 0 Currently CABASE has 21 IXPs around the country. The number of IXPs  keeps  growing every year. Initially, the traffic IXP members exchanged via the IXP represented around 10% of their total traffic. Today,  and depending of the size of the ISP, the traffic exchanged through the IXP can reach up to 70%.

297 Leave a comment on paragraph 297 0 Central Routing Strategy.

298 Leave a comment on paragraph 298 0 Argentina is a country with a high concentration of population in Buenos Aires region. Therefor CABASE choose to link all of its IXPs in a central routing site. Each IXP works autonomous for the exchange of all the local traffic. The central routing facility comes into the picture to :

299 Leave a comment on paragraph 299 0 – Provide via the regional IXP access to CDNs are mostly located in Buenos Aires.

300 Leave a comment on paragraph 300 0 – Enable access to a very competitive offer of IP transit services, also located in Buenos Aires which is the place where most of the International providers are located.

301 Leave a comment on paragraph 301 0 – Promote the exchange of traffic among IXPs (except for CDNs, this type of traffic is usually small compared to the others described).

302 Leave a comment on paragraph 302 0 Governance

303 Leave a comment on paragraph 303 0 All the members of the different IXPs, adhere to rules and regulations that are common for all IXPs. The documents are the Interconnection agreement as well as Manual of policy and procedures. These documents are updated by a commission  of one representative of each IXP as well as representatives of CABASE. This group holds monthly meetings to discuss and decide aspects common to all the IXPs. On the other hand, each IXP has autonomy to take local decisions . For that, each IXP also has a commission with representatives of its members which has monthly meetings to  discuss and take decisions.

304 Leave a comment on paragraph 304 0 Cost

305 Leave a comment on paragraph 305 0 As mentioned  previously, the IXPs are not-for-profit and the expenses and investments are shared by members, based on the infrastructure assigned to each of them.

306 Leave a comment on paragraph 306 0 There exist two type of cost:

307 Leave a comment on paragraph 307 0 a- Costs that belong only to the individual IXP. These costs are shared among the members of the IXP. They include the operational cost to run the  IXP and investments to let it grow, and the connection between the IXP and the central routing facility.

308 Leave a comment on paragraph 308 0 b- Cost that are common to all the IXPs. These costs are shared among all the members of the different IXPs. These cost include the operational costs and investments for the  central routing facility, and other expenses such as videoconferencing systems, etc.

309 Leave a comment on paragraph 309 0 Periodically, IXPs receive donations in the form of hardware from International Organizations to help develop the equipment.

310 Leave a comment on paragraph 310 0 LAC-IX

311 Leave a comment on paragraph 311 0 CABASE is one of the founding members of LAC-IX, the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Exchange Association. CABASE believes that IXPs are  a important to build a better and larger Internet in the countries but also for the LAC region. Since 2011 LAC-IX actively promotes the establishment new IXPs and the collaboration among the IXPs in the LAC region.

312 Leave a comment on paragraph 312 0 Final Notes.

313 Leave a comment on paragraph 313 0 The figures alone, 21 IXPs with  350 Members and the  tremendous cost savings , are  enough proof of the  success of the project.

314 Leave a comment on paragraph 314 0 However, as important is the fact that one succeeded in  enabling small ISPs to have access to the Internet with  the same quality and at the same cost as the biggest ISPs. This was one of the  objective of Broadband Access Federalization embraced by CABASE in 2006.

315 Leave a comment on paragraph 315 0 Case study contributed by Hernán Arcidiácono, IPlan Argentina

316 Leave a comment on paragraph 316 0  

4.4. Lessons learned from IXP failures

317 Leave a comment on paragraph 317 0  

318 Leave a comment on paragraph 318 0 When finally, after a long process of talks and preparations, the goal is achieved and IXP is launched there’s no guarantee for success. The kickoff is the start of a long journey. Previous sections discussed best practices to help IXPs to grow and develop during this journey. In addition, it is always useful look for lessons that can be learned from less successful examples. A number of often cited causes of IXP failure[24] are listed in this section. Some are directly related to the management of the IXP, other to member and community support or environmental factors.

319 Leave a comment on paragraph 319 0  

  • 320 Leave a comment on paragraph 320 0
  • Inability to provide reliable service or cope with traffic/member growth
  • Exclusive arrangements with co-lo providers which subsequently go out of business
  • Failure to build critical member/traffic mass before seed funding/goodwill runs out
  • Incomplete set of resources
  • Nonprofits can’t easily borrow or raise funds so are vulnerable to cash-flow crunches
  • Acquisition or capture by non-neutral operator
  • Market consolidation to outside of region
  • Lack of well-defined need – there is no point in creating an IXP for the sake of it

321 Leave a comment on paragraph 321 0  

322 Leave a comment on paragraph 322 0 Based on more than 20 years of IXP experience in the UK, Keith Mitchell[25] recently explored why IXP initiatives failed, while others in the same country became world-leading success stories.

  • 323 Leave a comment on paragraph 323 0
  • Building IXPs is all about community building – this takes years, not weeks No amount of investor capital or public sector support will help if you don’t get that right.
  • Do not alienate or split your stakeholder base!
  • IXPs do not magically create the base level of infrastructure needed to support them
  • The technology component is the easy part
  • Even in the non-profit world of IXPs, there’s a balance between competition, cooperation and innovation
  • There is an overhead that goes with building a pure non-profit, neutral membership association
  • Euro-IX has been a great community based answer to many issues of IXP viability and coordination

324 Leave a comment on paragraph 324 0 [1] The content of the section is amongst other, based on the panel discussion on ‘IXP business models’ at the 2016 AfPIF

325 Leave a comment on paragraph 325 0 Recording at https://www.internetsociety.org/afpif-2016/day3-presentations-and-livestream

326 Leave a comment on paragraph 326 0 [2] For example see LINX Annual Report 2015, at https://www.linx.net/documents/www.linx.net/uploads/files/LINX-2015-Annual-Report.pdf

327 Leave a comment on paragraph 327 0 [3] Quoted from: ‘The 1000$ Internet Exchange’, Remco van Mook, UKNOF, September 2015, https://indico.uknof.org.uk/event/34/other-view?view=standard

328 Leave a comment on paragraph 328 0 [4] The ICN1 cable connects Port Vila to Suva on Fiji. A second cable, ‘ICN2’, to conenct Port Vila with Luganville and Port Moresby on Papua New Guinea is under construction http://interchange.vu

329 Leave a comment on paragraph 329 0 [5] Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR) http://www.trr.vu

330 Leave a comment on paragraph 330 0 [6] Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)

331 Leave a comment on paragraph 331 0 [7] Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

332 Leave a comment on paragraph 332 0 [8] http://www.thnic.or.th

333 Leave a comment on paragraph 333 0 [9] http://internethalloffame.org/inductees/kanchana-kanchanasut

334 Leave a comment on paragraph 334 0 [10] ‘Internet Hall of Famer Realizes Dream in Southeast Asian IXP’, Kanchana Kanchanasut, IXPtoolkit Blog, March 2015, http://www.ixptoolkit.org/blog/2015/03/30/internet-hall-famer-realizes-dream-southeast-asian-ixp

335 Leave a comment on paragraph 335 0 [11] Very important were the informal talks at the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame induction ceremony where Prof. Kanchanasut was honoured for her work as Internet pioneer in Thailand.

336 Leave a comment on paragraph 336 0 [12] TH-Neutral IX workshop, 20-21 May 2013

337 Leave a comment on paragraph 337 0 http://25th.in.th/index.php?page=thneutralworkshop&new_language=1

338 Leave a comment on paragraph 338 0 [13] The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, http://www.nectec.or.th/en

339 Leave a comment on paragraph 339 0 [14] a carrier that is not owned by or linked to one of the IXP’s future members.

340 Leave a comment on paragraph 340 0 [15] https://www.tcc-technology.com/en/page/50/Data%CEnter%20Services

341 Leave a comment on paragraph 341 0 [16] http://peeringforum.bknix.co.th/2016/

342 Leave a comment on paragraph 342 0 [17] http://www.sida.se/English/

343 Leave a comment on paragraph 343 0 [18] http://www.rura.rw

344 Leave a comment on paragraph 344 0 [19] http://ricta.org.rw

345 Leave a comment on paragraph 345 0 [20] Promoting Local Content Hosting to Develop the Internet Ecosystem, Michael Kende and Karen Rose, Internet Society, January 2015, p. 24

346 Leave a comment on paragraph 346 0 [21] Promoting Local Content Hosting to Develop the Internet Ecosystem, Michael Kende and Karen Rose, Internet Society, January 2015, p. 24-25

347 Leave a comment on paragraph 347 0 [22]Rwanda IGF 2015, Meeting minutes’, C. Sugira, 28 October 2015, http://ricta.org.rw/IMG/pdf/igf_2015_minutes.pdf

348 Leave a comment on paragraph 348 0 [23] Promoting Local Content Hosting to Develop the Internet Ecosystem, Michael Kende and Karen Rose, Internet Society, January 2015, p. 14

349 Leave a comment on paragraph 349 0 [24] ‘Internet Exchange Evolution, 1994-2011 & beyond’, Keith Mitchell, TorIX AGM, April 2011

350 Leave a comment on paragraph 350 0 https://www.isc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/TorIX-11_Apr.pdf

351 Leave a comment on paragraph 351 0 [25] ‘Great British IXP Failures’, Keith Mitchell, UKNOF32, 16 Sept 2016

352 Leave a comment on paragraph 352 1 https://indico.uknof.org.uk/event/34/other-view?view=standard

353 Leave a comment on paragraph 353 0 To do: share in apendix / or add table in the text

354 Leave a comment on paragraph 354 0 Additional case study(ies)?

355 Leave a comment on paragraph 355 0  

356 Leave a comment on paragraph 356 0 A case study from Lat.Am / Caribbean ??

Page 20

Source: https://www.intgovforum.org/review/2016-igf-best-practice-forums-bpfs-draft-outputs-as-of-2-november/2016-igf-bpf-on-ixps-contributing-to-the-success-and-continued-development-of-internet-exchange-points-ixps/explaining-success-ixp-best-practices-and-experiences/