National Internet Exchange of India

NIXI is a Nonprofit "company" established in 2003. The website of NIXI says that The National Internet Exchange of India is the neutral meeting point of the ISPs in India. Its main purpose is to facilitate exchange of domestic Internet traffic between the peering ISP members. This enables more efficient use of international bandwidth, saving foreign exchange. It also improves the Quality of Services for the customers of member ISPs, by avoiding multiple international hops and thus reducing latency.

What are ISP members?

ISP refers to Internet service provider. ISPs are the companies such as BSNL, Bharti, Reliance, MTS etc. that provide Internet Access. ISP can be a hosting ISP or a Transit ISP. Hosting ISP are providers of email, file hosting & web hosting. Transit ISP provides the access to the internet.

What is International Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is available or consumed data communication resources expressed in bits/second or multiples of it (kilobits/s, megabits/s etc.). In context with the websites, bandwidth" is maximum amount of data transfer each month or given period is monthly data transfer. In context with the networks, bandwidth is achieved throughput i.e., the average rate of successful data transfer through a communication path. When the data transfer is international, it would be international bandwidth.

What is Peering?

Peering refers to a situation, where multiple ISPs interconnect. This interconnection is voluntary. Interconnection of administratively separate Internet networks for the purpose of exchanging traffic between the customers of each network is called Peering. Here we need to understand that in peering, neither party pays another for the exchanged traffic. Each of them derives the revenue from its own customers. Further, the exchange of routing information is done through the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing protocol and is often accompanied by peering agreements of varying formality, from "handshake" to thick contracts.

The point where the peering occurs is Internet exchange points (IXs). NIXI is an example of such Internet exchange point (IX). The IX allows routing of data between each network, without charging one another for the data transmitted. The benefity is that the dta is transmitted among the peering members without any charge and thus it brings down the cost. Since NIXI helps in peering of the ISPs in India, it saves them from the cost of International Bandwidth also and also brings down the latency (the delay experienced by a system).

Is there any security befit involved?

Yes. Recently, the Government of India has planned a ` 450-crore plan to develop and deploy a pan-India secure network and network-based services such as e-mail and Internet-telephony, thus providing a foolproof infrastructure for telecom and Internet communication exclusively for government use. The core idea behind this plan is that the government does not want any official communication on the Internet to travel outside the country and wants all such traffic to be routed through the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). The plan is proposed by the latest report of the Department of Telecommunications, prepared by the working group on Telecom for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).

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