National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is set to become India’s National Internet Registry after getting the ‘in-principle’ nod from the Asia Pacific network information centre (APNIC), which is the regional internet registry for the Asia Pacific region, reports mydigitalfc.com. Note that we were unable to find an official communique indicating this.

According to the report, in this new role, NIXI will provide IP address allocation services, and the Indian ISPs can either choose NIXI or APNIC as their preferred registry to obtain IP addresses. Apparently, the new role will also allow NIXI to bring down the cost of IP addresses and facilitate faster investigations by cyber crime detectives due to the absence of any waiting period, in case information is required from Australia.

Prior to this NIXI was a neutral Internet exchange for peering ISPs among themselves, so as to route the domestic traffic within the country for better quality of service, reduced latency and reduced bandwidth charges for ISPs. It was setup as a non-profit Organization in 2003 and has presence in seven Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi (Noida), Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedadabad. It also started the .IN registry in 2005, to maintain the .IN ccTLD operations.

The report also states that NIXI would be given the authority of assigning and managing internationalised domain names (IDNs) in 11 Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Telugu, which was recently approved by Internet Corporation for assigned names and numbers (ICANN).

This announcement was followed up by a similar IBNLive report, which said that ICANN and the Indian government are working continuously to enable the availability of domains in Indian languages. It also stated that CDAC Pune has been working with Department of Information Technology and other branches of CDAC in Kolkata and Thiruvanathapuram for the past three years, to develop a policy document for internationalised domain names in Indian languages. CDAC, which is also the technological partner for NIXI, claimed that there are currently more than a million registrants for .IN ccTLDs across the world, as compared to 6000 in 2005. However, 40 percent of these registrations reportedly happen outside India since registrants apparently get better service and infrastructural support abroad as compared to Indian registrars.