Government yesterday launched the Zimbabwe Internet Exchange point which is housed at TelOne Exchange Centre in Harare.
Speaking at the launch, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Deputy Minister Dr Win Mlambo said they have received $100 000 from African Union Commission grant to host the SADC IXP.
By Miriam Kunjanja and Kudakwashe Pembere
“You might recall that in November 2015, it was announced that Zimbabwe had won a fifth of a million of dollars, a tender to host one of the Southern African regional internet exchange point.
“Today therefore I am happy to announce that the country has so far received a total of $100 000 of that amount from the commission towards the first phase of setting up a regional internet exchange point,” he said.
The deputy minister said the first phase of setting up the IXP involved identifying its home of which TelOne offered.
“The phase also involved preparation of the location, the setting up of the equipment to allow local peering at the IXP,” he said.
The purpose of the IXP is to allow local networks to connect via the exchange rather than through a foreign network, to provide one central infrastructure point where local ISP and content delivery networks exchange traffic
ISP companies including Liquid Telecom, Powertell, Dandemutande, Africom took part in setting up the IXP with TelOne providing the location for set up
Dr Mlambo said the next phase will focus on capacity building, training of global engineers, encomposing internet Service Providers, and academic research, establishing an association that will run the exchange and grow the IXP into a regional IXP
The IXP will bring with it cost serving by eliminating the need to link the local traffic through the more expensive long distance in Zimbabwe data is expensive as compared to other countries which transit their traffic through Zimbabwe
More bandwidth for local users, low cost and more choice are some of the joys that come with having a locally housed IXP as well as well as more competitive wholesale. This means international content will be cheaper, internet will be faster and a raise in revenue, development of local content leading to employment creation
Most of local content providers have their data hosted outside Zimbabwe because it is cheaper there as compared in our country due lack of low cost internet infrastructure hence the need of the local IXP
Dr Win Mlambo also noted that there is need to let the world know on what Zimbabwe has done, to organize campaigns to let Zimbabweans’ and the whole world know of the IXP