- ¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0
- How can IXPs contribute to enabling inclusive and sustainable growth?
3. How can IXPs contribute to enabling inclusive and sustainable growth?
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The Internet plays an increasingly important role in today’s societies and economies, and the expectations for the future are high. A further developing Internet will continue to create opportunities for the developing and developed world. Given the United Nation’s emphasis on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the call for the sustainability of the Internet in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, and IGF 2016’s focus on inclusive and sustainable growth in particular, it is important to consider how IXPs can contribute to such development. As noted in the 2015 BPF on IXPs outcome document, “IXPs are an opportunity to strengthen, amplify, and accelerate connecting the next billion and final billions.”
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 While IXPs indirectly contribute in multiple ways to realizing inclusive and sustainable growth, they directly help to achieve U.N. SDG 9.c. to “Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020”.
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¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 IXPs contribute to a more affordable, stable, faster, and more robust Internet of a higher quality in their region. They also promote local network infrastructure, which is an important component for creating local digital content. Empirical research has shown that “there is a strong correlation between the development of network infrastructure and the growth of local content, even after controlling for economic and demographic factors. IXPs are also ideal points to host probes and anchors that provide various Internet measurements and statistics, which includes “valuable information about local and regional connectivity.” Since many of these statistics are public, such metrics can be used by regional Internet registries (RIRs), academics, researchers, the private sector, members of the technical community, and others for a host of useful purposes that can ultimately help strengthen and expand local and regional infrastructure and services.
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 4 IXPs have proven to be crucial for delivering content in Africa in particular, which is significant since it is the region with the lowest Internet penetration and one that has struggled with cross-border interconnectivity. In general, countries with a well-functioning IXP are well placed to attract local data centers, root server mirrors, and hosting providers, content providers and/or CDNs. The presence of the IXP fosters the development of the local Internet ecosystem.
¶ 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 When Google installed a cache in Kenya and Akamai installed a server in Rwanda, to bring their content closer to the user via the local IXP, usage increased significantly. “The main reason for the increase in usage is that latency decreases, which makes it easier for users to access the content and results in more usage. At the same time, ISPs no longer have to effectively ‘import’ that content from abroad over expensive international links, and thus save significant resources.” More specifically, a study examining local content hosting in Rwanda found that “the reliance on hosting locally relevant content abroad has cascading impacts on stakeholders and the local Internet economy, including, notably, its end users,” in particular as it relates to cost, usage, and latency. It is important to note here that a major result of lower latency is the enabling of time-sensitive services such as voice or video calling.
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 It should be noted that the case for local hosting is not a case for forced “data localization”, the free-flow of information into and out of a country helps to develop a thriving Internet ecosystem, and forced “data localization” can paradoxically lead to lower internet and infrastructure development in a country.
¶ 20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 A 2013 report examining the the IXP environment in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador, for example, determined that, among other roles, IXPs in Latin America and the Caribbean “play an important role in promoting Internet development in areas serviced by small and medium-size ISPs, which tend to be poorer and more isolated than those serviced by larger ISPs.” Specifically, the report stressed:
¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 “By peering at an IXP, these operators can not only exchange local traffic but, even more critically, aggregate outbound traffic. This allows small and medium-size ISPs to collectively negotiate better transit prices, and to attract peering from content providers. When sufficient traffic is aggregated, international backbone providers have incentives to establish PoPs closer to the IXP, thus balancing international transit costs more evenly between parties. As mentioned, IXPs also create incentives for small network operators to invest in their own infrastructure in order to reach a neutral point where traffic can be negotiated with other participants.”
¶ 23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 Evidence from Bolivia also supports the importance of IXPs on Internet development, specifically that the Bolivian Internet exchange (PIT Bolivia) has made a positive impact on network performance in the country.
¶ 25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 2 In addition to the development of the infrastructure, it is important that services provided over the Internet are affordable for the intended local end-users. The cost of connectivity is one of the factors that will influence the price of the service. Providers may significantly reduce costs by connecting to an IXP and avoiding the costs of international international transit, which in the case of developing countries can be extremely high.
¶ 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 2 Lower traffic costs also facilitate “high bandwidth services such as video streaming.” The Development Bank of Latin America, for instance, found that “The development of [IXP] technology in [Latin America] can reduce up to 38 percent of the costs associated with Internet international traffic.
¶ 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 Relevant cases also exist in Asia. For instance, a 2015 report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) found that local stakeholders in Pakistan identified the potential benefits of an IXP would include cost savings (especially from content hosted outside of Pakistan that travels via international bandwidth), local content hosting, and improved cloud infrastructure.
¶ 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 The reliability and resilience of the network is another important element, especially if governments and businesses intend to use the Internet to deliver services. Participation in the digital economy, including cloud computing, requires uninterrupted access to broadband networks. According to a 2015 Internet Society report, “Where [uninterrupted access to broadband] is unavailable, developing countries will miss out on economic opportunities available to their competitors. Reliable power supply, spectrum availability, redundancy in network capacity, secure networking, low levels of transmission latency, and IXPs are all important to Internet affordability, reliability, and local access.”
¶ 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Conclusion; IXPs have the potential to indirectly contribute inclusive and sustainable growth in their communities via the positive impact that IXPs can have on the development and reliability of a local internet, the affordability of services,and the availability of local content.
¶ 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 As mentioned in Section 2 and the 2015 BPF document, governments, regulators, and other policy- and decisionmakers can play an important role by supporting IXP development; amongst other by:
- ¶ 34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0
- Connecting e-government services to local IXPs;
- Ensuring legal and policy clarity for local content developers, hosting providers, CDNs, and data centers;
- Assuring reliable power supply energy policies and/or providing incentives;
- Reducing high duties and taxes on IXP equipment imports as well as long and unpredictable customs checks;
- Not placing constraints through licensing or regulation on operators’ ability to connect and peer at an IXP; and
- Removing barriers to entry for IXP operation and peering, and promote bottom-up community development and support for IXPs.
¶ 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0  See: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/best-practice-forums/creating-an-enabling-environment-for-the-development-of-local-content/582-igf-2015-bpf-ixps/file.
¶ 40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0  “The Relationship Between Local Content, Internet Development, and Access Prices.” Internet Society (ISOC), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2011. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/The%20Relationship%20Between%20Local%20Content%2C%20Internet%20Development%2C%20and%20Access%20Prices_0.pdf.
¶ 43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0  See: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regional-Presence/ArabStates/Documents/events/2016/IXP/Pres/S1ISOC_Arab%20States%20-%20IXP%20Workshop%20-%20ITU-ATI%20(5-6%20April%202016)1.pdf
¶ 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0  Promoting Local Content Hosting to Develop the Internet Ecosystem. Internet Society. January 2015. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/Promoting%20Local%20Content%20Hosting%20to%20Develop%20the%20Internet%20Ecosystem.pdf.
¶ 47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0  “A policy framework for enabling Internet access.” Internet Society. September 2016. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/Policy_Framework_for_an_Enabling_Environment_-_Stable.pdf.
¶ 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0  “Connectivity in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Role of Internet Exchange Points.” Hernán Galperin (Universidad de San Andrés / CONICET). November 2013. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/LAC_IXP_Report_2013%20English%20(updated%202014).pdf.
¶ 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0  “Do Internet Exchange Points Really Matter? Evidence from Bolivia.” Hernán Galperin et al. September 2014. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2418576.
¶ 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0  “The Relationship Between Local Content, Internet Development, and Access Prices.” Internet Society (ISOC), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2011. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/The%20Relationship%20Between%20Local%20Content%2C%20Internet%20Development%2C%20and%20Access%20Prices_0.pdf.
¶ 53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0  “IXP in Latin America: Low cost internet at higher speed.” Development Bank of Latin America. August 2014. https://www.caf.com/en/currently/news/2014/08/ixp-in-latin-america-low-cost-internet-at-higher-speed/?parent=16139.
¶ 55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0  “IXP Challenges in Pakistan.” International Telecommunications Union. 2015. http://www.itu.int/en/Lists/consultation2015/Attachments/30/Pakistan%20Response%20on%20IXP.pdf.
¶ 56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0  “The Internet and Sustainable Development.” Internet Society. June 2015. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/ISOC-ICTs-SDGs-201506-1.pdf.
¶ 57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0  “A policy framework for enabling Internet access.” Internet Society. September 2016. https://www.internetsociety.org/sites/default/files/Policy_Framework_for_an_Enabling_Environment_-_Stable.pdf.