Zimbabwe is looking forward to have completed setting up its local internet exchange point next month, a government official has said. An internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical network access point through which major network providers connect their networks and exchange traffic. The primary focus of an exchange point is to facilitate network interconnection through an exchange access point instead of third-party networks.
Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the AU-SADC final validation workshop on the Sadc Regional Cross Border interconnection yesterday , ICT Postal and Courier Services Permanent Secretary Eng Sam Kundishora said they will be done with Zimbabwe’s IXP next month.
“The (local) internet exchange point will be functional by next month. It will be launched in September. In August we should actually be finished with the installation, and the commissioning of the national exchange point ,” he said.
Eng Kundishora also said Zimbabwe will house the regional internet exchange point which will filter all the information destined for the Sadc region.
“What it means is that traffic for the region will come here and be filtered and remain to the region,” he added.
He stressed the importance of a local IXP saying that it saves the country the much needed foreign currency.
“And we pay for the networks which handle that traffic out there. So once traffic which is national remains national it means we don’t have to pay in foreign currency to the outside communication networks,” said Eng Kundishora.
He added that a local IXP gatekeeps and contains information destined for a destination in the country.
“But below the region there is the national. The national internet net exchange point. The national internet exchange point means traffic from Harare to Bulawayo should not go out out this country. It must simply go back to Bulawayo.
Information on locally hosted websites with the .zw domain is filtered and delivered to intended places in Zimbabwe while those with the .com should be looked into outside.
“National remains national which means we must have a national internet exchange point which filters any called .zw. anything with that .zw should not go out. Because it is going somewhere in this country. Woe to those with .com because .com will have to be resolved outside. So it has to go outside and then come back.
“But otherwise, anything with that .zw should not go outside, it must remain inside the country,” noted Kundishora.
Internet exchange points were created to minimize the part of an Internet service provider’s (ISP) network traffic that had to go through an upstream provider. IXPs provide a common place for ISPs to exchange their Internet traffic between autonomous network systems. The exchange points are often established in the same city to avoid latency.