South Africa’s Eastern Cape is getting its own internet exchange point (IXP). INX-ZA, an autonomous division of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) of South Africa, has launched the Nelson Mandela Bay IXP, or NMBINX in Gqeberha, about 770 km east of Cape Town, providing what is described as a boost for business and for the growth and development of the Eastern Cape internet ecosystem.
NMBINX is the newest addition to INX-ZA’s community-run IXP services. The Gqeberha IXP will be fully operational within the next month. INX-ZA operates South Africa’s only community-run internet exchanges – in Cape Town (CINX), Durban (DINX), Johannesburg (JINX) and now Nelson Mandela Bay (NMBINX).
NMBINX offers network operators in the Eastern Cape region the opportunity to improve their internet connectivity and performance by connecting to other local networks, content providers and cloud service providers through a single peering point.
This will result, we are told, in faster and more efficient routing of traffic, reduced latency, and improved network resilience. This region has a history of outages due to multiple simultaneous backhaul failures, says ISPA, and this development should lessen the impact of such network disruptions.
ISPA is a South African non-profit company and recognised internet industry representative body. It facilitates exchange between the different independent internet service providers, regulator ICASA and other government structures, operators and other service providers in South Africa.
From June, if a consumer is making use of an ISP based in Nelson Mandela Bay, instead of the content being backhauled all the way from Johannesburg it can be served locally.
To promote interconnection in the region, INX-ZA has waived port fees and the co-location facility has waived monthly recurring fees for cross-connects.