'Ghana's Link to Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Point Will Drive Traffic, Reduce Cost'

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Emma Okonji

The recent connection of the Ghana Internet Exchange Point to that of Nigerian’s Internet Exchange Point (IXPN), destined to route traffic locally within the region, will not only drive local traffic within the regions, but will also reduce cost of internet connectivity, industry stakeholders have said.

While the link process is on a vice-versa partnership basis, the move is expected to enhance the chances of Nigeria becoming the regional hub for internet content in the region and the continent. It will also serve as an opportunity for both countries to reduce cost and improve latency on the route, according to stakeholders.

Further analysis showed that the internet traffic destined for the two countries would now remain local, meaning that instead of the traffic coming from Ghana to Nigeria, which first goes to Europe or the Americas before returning to Africa, will come straight to the region.

This way, there will be some cost saving, improvement service delivery, and making services safer.
Besides, should Nigeria become the Internet hub for Africa, it will help the country to create contents, especially local that can serve the international market, and enable it attract foreign investors.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IXPN, Muhammed Rudman, who confirmed the connection with Ghana, said the exchange has connected about 45 top organisations in the country.

He said Ghana and Nigeria were working on collaborative efforts to exchange internet traffic, adding that it will give organisations in both countries easy access to each other’s content, while serving as a link to other parts of the world.

The IXPN is now the second largest in Africa, and the regional IXP for the West African region, a status allocated to it by the African Union.

An IXP is a physical infrastructure through, which Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and other Internet Protocol (IP) centric organisations exchange internet traffic between their networks.
The primary purpose of an IXP is to allow networks to interconnect with one another directly via the exchange rather than through one or more third-party networks.

Already, it has been revealed that a leading service provider in Nigeria now saves over N20 million by localising its traffic using the exchange point. These cost savings for the service providers will eventually translate to reduction cost of Internet access to Internet subscribers in the country.

The Ghana-Nigeria deal is already confirmed in document presented by a former Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye, at an interaction programme on, “Improving Socioeconomic Development of a Nation Through Qualitative Telecommunications Services,” organised by the Senate Committee on Communications, Rudman said.

According to him, in the document, Angaye said the coming together of these two countries would attract other countries, which would enhance the chances of Nigeria being the regional hub for internet content in the region and the continent.

Rudman said the move will attract foreign investors and content providers, saying that a major content provider would be coming to leverage the IXPN to expand its reach.

According to him, with traffic becoming local, there would be no need going to Europe first, before coming back to Nigeria, and such a move will help our data centres, business developers, content creators, to save cost.