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Local Internet exchanges grow

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The Johannesburg and Cape Town Internet exchange infrastructures have enjoyed runaway growth in the past few years.

So says the Internet Service Providers Association of SA (ISPA), which notes that more than 30 internet service providers (ISPs) now connect to the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) and exchange more than 2.5Gbps of traffic during peak times.

ISPA also says the Cape Town Internet Exchange (CINX) today handles more than 500Mbps of traffic from 16 peering ISPs during peak times. With a sharp rise in mobile data usage and rapid growth in voice over IP (VOIP) traffic, it adds, traffic volumes at the exchanges will continue to grow sharply in the months to come.

ISPA has run JINX since 1996 and CINX since 2009. The organisation is currently selecting the company that will host the Durban Internet Exchange.

According to the association, this infrastructure has an enormous positive impact on the consumer's Internet experience, although most South African Internet users are unaware of its existence.

Marc Furman, co-chair at ISPA, says: “The ISPA INXes have provided massive benefit to service providers, network operators and consumers over the years. They keep Internet traffic within the country, which results in faster response times between ISPs and reduces the congestion on international links.

“By connecting to these exchanges, network operators are also able to keep their costs down, which in turn enables them to provide their services to end-users at a lower cost. The growth we have experienced over the years across these exchange points has been staggering.”

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