Bangladesh Internet Exchange

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The Internet is a large collection of separate networks. In order to establish end-to-end connectivity from one network to the other, they somehow need to be interconnected, be it directly or indirectly. An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a component of Internet infrastructure. IX was set up for peering of ISPs among themselves for the purpose of routing the domestic traffic within the country, instead of taking it all the way to abroad, thereby resulting in better quality of service (reduced latency) and reduced bandwidth charges for ISPs by saving on International Bandwidth.


An Internet Exchange (IX) can play a supporting role by offering a shared infrastructure where multiple networks can meet at a central location in order to exchange IP traffic with one another. The Internet and all its applications have almost become part of our senses these days. Many of us feel the need to be online 24 hours a day, to be interconnected with friends, family, colleagues and customers, or with the world at large. This interconnectivity of people is fed by the interconnectivity of the networks they are using, which is the main purpose of an IX.

Internet traffic exchange between two participants on an IXP is facilitated by Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing configurations between them. IXPs provide a common place for ISPs to exchange their Internet traffic between autonomous network systems. They choose to announce routes via the peering relationship either routes to their own addresses, or routes to addresses of other ISPs that they connect to, possibly via other mechanisms.

In many cases, an ISP will have both a direct link to another ISP and accept a route (normally ignored) to the other ISP through the IXP; if the direct link fails, traffic will then start flowing over the IXP. In this way, the IXP acts as a backup link.

 
In many developing countries, poor connectivity between ISPs often results in the routing of local traffic over expensive international links simply to reach destinations within the country of origin. IXPs can also improve the quality of Internet services in a country by reducing the delays. IXPs also can be a convenient hub for hosting critical infrastructure within countries.

The advantages of Internet exchange points include:

  • Allowing high speed data transfer
  • Reducing latency
  • Providing fault tolerance
  • Improving routing efficiency
  • Improving bandwidth

The physical infrastructure includes one or more high-speed network Ethernet switches. The traffic exchange in an IXP is enabled by the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). The traffic exchange is managed through a mutual peering agreement conformed to by all ISPs. The ISPs normally specify the routes through the peering relationship. They may choose to route the traffic through their own addresses or addresses of other providers in the network. In some scenarios, the IXP serves as a backup link to allow traffic to pass through in case of a direct link failure.