Background of Pakistan Internet Exchange Point (IXP)

Telecom industry of Pakistan has decided to launch Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Pakistan, to lower down the Internet bandwidth cost and improve quality of Internet Service due to drastic decrease in latency of the local Internet traffic, as currently local Internet traffic is also going through International bandwidth, causing extra cost and lower latency. After the introduction of IXP in three major cities of Pakistan, local traffic will remain local therefore millions of US Dollars will be saved annually, on reduction of requirement for international bandwidth.

PTA took the leading role in making consensus amongst all stakeholders of IXP, under the instructions of Dr. Ismail Shah Chairman PTA. Consultation process was started, in April 2015, with a productive session through APNIC and ISOC. A series of meetings were conducted amongst all stakeholders of IXP, comprised of telecom regulator (PTA), ISPs, mobile phone operators and academia. Later on five working groups were made, in May 2015, having representation from stakeholders, focusing on all aspect of establishment of IXP for Pakistan.

IXP working groups, after thorough deliberations, communicated their recommendations to all stakeholders for endorsement. Working groups recommended that an independent board of governors be formed, having representation from all stakeholders like ISPs, PTCL / TWA, mobile phone operators, PTA, Higher Education Commission (HEC), academia and Internet Society. Working groups also recommended to establish IXP at HECís premises at major three cities of Pakistan i.e Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. IXP can be extended to other cities based on Internet traffic requirement of the city.

After the constitution of IXP board, IXP board is working with different national and international organizations like Huawei Pakistan, Cisco Pakistan, Network Startup Resource Centre (NSRP) and Internet Society (ISOC), for the provision of IXP equipment, so that ISPs and mobile phone operators participating in IXP can be facilitated and motivated to take part in the low cost IXP.

IXP board has worked with all ISPs and mobile phone operators to lay their fiber infrastructure upto HEC premises, for their participation in Islamabad IXP. In response, most of the ISPs and mobile operators have confirmed participation and in process of laying their fiber upto premises of HEC, so that they can be part of the Pakistan IXP operations. Some of the operators have communicated that they will participate in Pakistan IXP, as soon their fiber infrastructure is ready to join IXP.

After the establishment of Pakistan IXP, cost for the bandwidth will lower down and quality of service will improve tremendously, due to drastic decrease in latency of the local Internet traffic. Since current local Internet traffic is going through International bandwidth, causing extra cost and lower latency.

In addition to above, IXP board is also closely in contact with popular website owners to host mirror of their website in Pakistan. Furthermore, content providers have also shown interest to create local mirror of their services, after the establishment of Pakistan IXP.

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