Ahmed Bakht Masood

Author Archives: Ahmed Bakht Masood

Keeping Pakistan’s Internet Exchange Points Running

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) are a vital element of Internet infrastructure. They can be found at physical and neutral locations where different IP networks meet to exchange local traffic via a switch. Implementing an IXP within a country helps bring faster, more affordable, and better performing Internet to people.

Frustrated by poor quality of service and high-cost connectivity, local Internet stakeholders started off the process of setting up an IXP in Pakistan. With the adoption of the 2015 telecoms policy, there was a new drive to foster interconnection and keep local traffic within the country.

Led by the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), the telecom regulator, the government-initiated consultations on how to set up an IXP.  To develop an informed opinion about IXPs, PTA reached out to the Internet Society, the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), the local Internet community, and civil society.

The consultations led to the formation of an IXP board; comprised of all stakeholders. The new board decided to establish IXPs at Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. The IXP board first set up an IXP in Pakistan at a neutral venue, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), Islamabad in 2016. HEC was ideal because it provided a Continue reading