By Juliet Umeh
The current COVID-19 pandemic could be described as a blessing in disguise for internet development across the world particularly, in Nigeria as Internet Exchange of Nigeria, IXPN, has reached the traffic of 125 Gigabits per second, Gbps, in 2020. This is also with a cost savings increase to USD 40 million per year.
This is according to the latest report on Critical African Internet Infrastructure by the Internet Society, unveiled via a Zoom Webinar, tagged: ‘Anchoring the African Internet Ecosystem: Lessons from Kenya and Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Points, IXP, Growth.
It revealed that the growth in peak traffic is a huge increase from Peak IXP traffic of 300 Mbps and cost savings of US$1,080,000, when in 2012 it commissioned a study to identify and quantify the significant benefits IXPs in Nigeria.
The report explained that the growing reliance on the Internet to replace face-to-face interactions during lockdowns and social distancing was the major push for the traffic.
It noted that Nigeria and Kenya have reached Stage 2 of Internet development, with nearly 70 percent of traffic localized from the 30 percent in 2012.
The report said: “Since 2012, both countries have experienced profound growth across all aspects of their Internet ecosystems, including their IXP, Internet access and content infrastructures. Specifically, savings in Nigeria was even greater. In early 2020, the port charge at IXPN is US$0.428 per month per Mbps (for a 1 Gbps port), while the cost of international IP transit is US$27.45 per Mbps per month (also for 1 Gbps capacity).
“To be able to access traffic or content at the IXP thus costs about US$27 less per Mbps per month than it would by accessing it abroad, and given the amount of traffic exchanged, this is a savings of over US$40 million per year.”
It added that although, the cost of IP transit is much lower than it was in 2012, there is so much more traffic through the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria that the savings have multiplied roughly 40 times from 2012.
The Internet Society also commended the Nigerian government for its effort in developing the Internet sectors and adopting data-protection policies, thereby reinforcing an environment of trust and welcoming further local-content hosting.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Exchange of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, while commenting on the report called on local content developers who currently host their content outside Nigeria, to host it inside the country in order to benefit from lower latency and ultimately, help increase local traffic.
He said smaller Internet service providers, ISPs, should connect to the IXPN in order to widely peer with other members and increase the efficiency of their interconnections, disclosing that IXPN covers eight Point of Presence, POP, across Nigeria.