Technology

Trai recommendations on Nixi sent to government















NEW DELHI: : In a move that may push major developments in India in the convergence space, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has forwarded its recommendations on "Improvement in the Effectiveness of National Internet Exchange of India (Nixi)" to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.


Nixi was set up by Department of Information Technology, Government of India in 2003.


The main purpose of setting up of Nixi was to ensure that Internet traffic, originating and destined for India, should be routed within India. It has been observed by the Authority that Nixi‘s infrastructure has not been utilized optimally as only 27 ISPs out of 135 operational ISPs have joined Nixi at four nodes.

 

Various reasons like high cost of leased line to connect to Nixi node, non availability of Nixi nodes at all state capitals, high cost to obtain Autonomous System (AS) number have been indicated for not joining the Nixi.


It is also observed at times that pipe size of ISPs connecting to Nixi is inadequate to cater to the expected internet traffic. Many a time ISPs connected at Nixi are neither announcing nor accepting all the routes.


Since data traffic flow is one way, hop by hop, routed by analysing the destination addresses based on the routes learnt, announcement and acceptance of all routes becomes crucial for effective exchange of the domestic Internet traffic.


Considering these issues impacting effectiveness of Nixi, the Authority has made the recommendations to Ministry of Communication and Information Technology suo moto in accordance with section 11 (a) (iv) of TRAI Act 1997 for effective utilization of Nixi.

 

Various options of improving effectiveness for exchanging domestic traffic within the country have been explored, which include direct domestic peering of ISPs with International Internet Bandwidth providers.


While finalising the recommendations, the Authority is conscious that many of the stand-alone ISPs have limited resources and therefore recommendations to improve effectiveness of the Nixi should not unduly burden them.


The interests of the Integrated ISPs who are providing International Internet bandwidth have also been protected. A light touch regulatory approach has been adopted and different options to improve effectiveness of Nixi have been recommended.


Major recommendations include that all the ISPs or their upstream providers (ISP who is carrying the traffic to International Internet Bandwidth providers or Nixi) shall either connect to Nixi or with International Internet bandwidth providers through direct peering link. Compulsory announcement and acceptance of all the routes at Nixi nodes have been recommended.


This will facilitate effective exchange of domestic Internet traffic at Nixi without requiring direct connectivity of ISPs at Nixi. Similarly Quality of Service parameters of Nixi nodes has been prescribed to ensure effective functioning of the Nixi.


The initiative will substantially bring down ISP‘s expenditure on domestic bandwidth, which is likely to reduce content download charges resulting in net reduction in Internet and broadband usage charges.


"It is hoped that implementation of these recommendations will enable ISPs to effectively use Nixi platform for exchange of domestic traffic reducing content download charges and encouraging web hosting services in India," a Trai spokesperson said.


It will also result in better Quality of Service (QoS). Ministry of Communication and Information Technology have to act on the recommendations before the Authority can declare the regulations effective.

 

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