The Department of Telecom is planning to make it mandatory for ISPs to connect to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), reports The Hindu Business Line. What this essentially means is that data traffic within the country would not need to be routed through international gateways, since all ISPs will connect with each other through the exchange. The report mentions that an internal committee of the government has mooted the idea, however, it does not point towards a definite source. The report does cite a DoT official who said that the initiative will allow ISPs to reduce expenditure on bandwidth which will in-turn allow them to reduce internet usage charges, and also lead to an improvement in the quality of service.
We’ve been hearing about this since a long time and NIXI was indeed set-up with the aim of acting as a neutral Internet exchange for peering ISPs among themselves, to route the domestic traffic within the country for better quality of service, reduced latency and reduced bandwidth charges for ISPs. However, we’ve not seen any major change in policy to move things forward. Also, as the Hindu report points out, the cost scenario is different today from what it was in 2003 when NIXI was setup.
NIXI had also reportedly received the ‘in-principle’ nod from the Asia Pacific network information centre (APNIC), which is the regional internet registry for the Asia Pacific region to become India’s National Internet Registry. The report had informed that NIXI would provide IP address allocation services, and that the Indian ISPs would be able to choose between NIXI or APNIC as their preferred registry to obtain IP addresses.It was said that the new role would 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.
NIXI has presence in seven Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi (Noida), Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedadabad, with Guwahati, Mohali and Lucknow, coming up. It had also started the .IN registry in 2005, to maintain the .IN ccTLD operations. It would also be reportedly given the authority of assigning and managing internationalised domain names (IDNs) in 11 Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Telugu.