Owing to the unprecedented times, India underwent a strict nation-wide lockdown. The inability of free-flow of movement suddenly forced people to resort to the Internet for collaboration for work, education and entertainment. This resulted in a sudden spike in internet traffic due to an increase in data consumption leading to the problem of bandwidth inefficiency. This unforeseen rise in consumption posed a grave challenge for the Indian telecom sector as their infrastructure wasn’t equipped to handle the situation.
A recent report by CISCO stated that India would have more than 900 million internet users by 2023, and a parallel study conducted by Ericsson shared that the average smartphone user in June 2020 consumed 25GB of data per month. Despite India being one of the largest content consumers and also making a noticeable contribution in the content creation community, only a fraction of Indian households have proper broadband accessibility and clock an average download speed of 12.07 Mbps.
The introduction and speedy adoption of Internet Exchange Points is one of the more efficient and long-term solutions to address the persistent bandwidth woes, infrastructure-related incompetencies while significantly enhancing customer experience. A fundamental characteristic of Internet Exchange Points (IXP) is to increase broadband speed and reduce lag due to congestion caused by numerous data links. These IXPs enable direct access to content providers like Netflix, Google, Amazon to India’s leading internet service providers, thus reducing latency by multi-folds. Players like Extreme IX offload Internet traffic from expensive upstream to peering, which makes the network less congested and affordable for ISPs resulting in cheaper wireline broadband plans for the consumers. IXPs also help solve data traffic congestion issues.
Additionally, with the corporate culture gradually accepting remote working as a norm, people from metro cities have relocated to tier 2 and tier 3 cities which currently lack the ability to handle the increased data load. There, a Point of Presence from players like Extreme IX can improve the consumer experience while reducing internet bandwidth-related issues.
India is consuming a considerable amount of data, hence it becomes crucial to understand the dire need for the speedy deployment of IXPs. They don’t just increase the broadband speed for ISPs, but they also provide a platform that allows for more affordable plans while reducing the number of data links that increase the speed. The government of India, as well as private entities, need to invest and understand the need for IXPs to mend the efficiency gap created by data links bottlenecks leading to inconsistent internet speed.
Author: Raunak Maheshwari
Raunak has been the driving force behind the Extreme IX rise in India, from zero to being the biggest IX in India within a matter of 2-3 years. With Raunak’s immaculate work ethics and leadership quality, Extreme IX continues to grow fast. The company acquired its first customer in Delhi around May 2016 and then there was no looking back. After Delhi, it was Mumbai with 25 customers in January 2017 followed by Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. About 250 of India’s leading ISPs are connected to Extreme IX which is soon to come up in metro cities like Bangalore, Pune, and many other Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well.