In the digital economy, the rate of growth of internet traffic is a useful indicator to measure the health of the internet ecosystem. It also helps to measure how a country is growing its digital economy. As a blog/website owner, you know important it is to get massive traffic to your blog every day and how important it is for the traffic to keep growing. If you understand that, then you have a basic knowledge of why the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is hoping to localise the internet traffic by as much as 50% by the year 2020. This is intended to be done through the Internet Exchange Points (IXPs).
Comparing this year 2016 to 5 years ago (2011), there has increased localisation of Internet traffic by telecommunications operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nigeria. The increase was brought about by the IXPs in Nigeria (IXPN). IXPN is an initiative of the NCC that enables ISPs, telecommunications operators, content providers and educational institutions to exchange Internet traffic locally within Nigeria.
Benefits of Localising Internet Traffic
Localising internet traffic reduces the delays associated with routing local traffic internationally. What this means for you (a site/blog owner) is that, if someone in Nigeria opens up your site on their browser (mobile, desktop, laptop or tablets), instead of the exchange of information from your site/blog to the reader being done (routed) internationally, it will be done locally. The time (latency) it takes to normally load your site to a reader/visitor in Nigeria reduces. This drop in latency increases the speed of your site/blog and helps the visitor/reader (end-user) with better quality service.
A non-localized internet traffic will look like this. End User in Nigeria —-> International Internet exchange (e.g. USA) —> Site/Blog accessed with a Nigeria internet protocol (IP)
A localized internet traffic will look like this. End User in Nigeria —->
International Internet exchange (e.g. USA) —> Site/Blog accessed with a Nigeria internet protocol (IP).
Countries like China, South Korea, Egypt, among others, have at least 80% to 90% of their internet traffic localised. This is also achievable in Nigeria. This is because, at the time of publishing this post, larger percentage of the internet traffic in Nigeria are still routed abroad. However, the target of the exchange point is to make sure localisation of content created in Nigeria and the content created internationally meant for Nigeria’s consumption are hosted locally.
Nigeria currently has three IXPs in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. However, Nigeria won the bid to become Regional Internet Exchange Point (RIXP) for West Africa region in the African Internet Exchange System project under the African Union Commission. Since the establishment of IXPN, most ISPs now route their traffic locally through the exchange, instead of routing data traffic through servers hosted outside the country, thereby saving cost for themselves and the country.