Over 50 SA networks share Internet traffic through ISPA

The Internet Service Provider’s Association of South Africa (ISPA) announced today (18 June 2012) that over 50 networks now interconnect at their Internet exchange points in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“Internet users in South Africa surf a significant amount of local content, hosted by several ISPs around the country,” ISPA said in a press statement.

“By using a method to privately interconnect these ISPs, one prevents such traffic from leaving the country’s borders, traversing expensive undersea cable infrastructure, only to return a moment later as international traffic.”

For this reason, ISPA has established local Internet Exchanges (INXes) in Gauteng (JINX) and in Cape Town (CINX), with an additional exchange about to be built in Durban (DINX). With the advantages of locally exchanged traffic, ISPA said more than fifty networks are today interconnected by its exchanges.

According to Ant Brooks, ISPA spokesperson, Internet Exchanges (INXes) provide a mechanism for ISPA’s members, and non-members, to interconnect their networks and exchange traffic.

Ant Brooks
Ant Brooks

“The exchanges encourage the local routing of internet traffic not destined for international locations. By exchanging information locally, there is no need to use international bandwidth,” said Brooks.

In commercial terms, this means two things: lower cost and reduced latency (delay). “It is for these reasons that the local exchanges were established in December 1996,” Brooks said.

The benefits are clearly reflected in the growth of local networks using the services provided by ISPA. In 2009, just nine networks were exchanging data locally.

“The growth to above 50 is astonishing. It not only confirms the value of local switching, but also provides a glimpse into the growth of the internet in South Africa,” Brooks said.

He added that the sheer number of ISPs in the market today is an indication of an environment which is maturing in the wake of deregulation.

“With JINX and CINX now used broadly by an increasingly competitive local industry, the benefits of local switching are surely a key component in limiting overheads to provide South Africans with affordable, quality internet services,” Brooks said.

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Over 50 SA networks share Internet traffic through ISPA