The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) of South Africa is in the process of building a more competitive and redundant Internet exchange system in South Africa.
Graham Beneke, chair of ISPA’s INX working group, explained that the association is planning to have two Internet exchange points in Johannesburg and Cape Town. There is currently only one ISPA managed Internet exchange per city.
Beneke said that two exchange points per city will not only provide redundancy, but it will also bring competition to the system. “If a provider does not want to put down infrastructure in a certain data centre, it will give them the option to use another exchange point instead,” said Beneke.
The plan is to connect the two exchanges in a certain city and share traffic between the two facilities. This means that any provider which is present at one of the peering points in the city will be able to exchange traffic with any provider at the other point in the city.
Beneke said that ISPA is still in the process of producing the documentation for this initiative, and that they will follow the standard tender procedure to find a suitable host for the second peering point hosts.
Another option to make peering at JINX, CINX and DINX more attractive, and possibly more affordable, is to allow ISPs to purchase capacity into the ISPA Internet exchanges through a carrier.
This means that an ISP will be able to purchase capacity into the Internet exchange from a carrier like Internet Solutions, and have their own port on the exchange switch.
Beneke highlighted that these plans have not been finalized yet, and is still under discussion at management level.