All About GIXA
The Ghana Internet eXchange (GIX) was launched on 18th October, 2005. It is run and operated by the Ghana Internet eXchange Association (GIXA), an independent non-profit corporation established by the Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA) and other stakeholders interested in joining and growing the GIX. Whiles the GIX is a facility housed at the Ghana India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence, the GIXA is the community of operators (ISPs and Network Operators) who are connected and owners. GISPA is a professional, non-profit trade association representing the interest of ISPs and those interested in the provision of Internet service. The structure of the GIXA (GIX) is such that non-members of GISPA can also connect to the exchange. Hence it is open to all carriers (operators) who may want to exchange traffic locally.
GISPA has been the lead organisation facilitating the establishment of the GIXA and the GIX in collaboration with other institutions who have contributed significantly such as the Ministry of Communication (MoC), National Communication Authority (NCA), Ghana India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence (KACE), Geekcorps, Packet Clearing House (PCH), African Internet Service Providers Association (AfrISPA), NTIC of the French Government through the French Embassy in Ghana and it’s members who have donated resources, time and money in various forms.
The concept of Internet exchange points is build around interconnecting Internet Service Providers (ISPs and Network Operators) at one point and utilizing dynamic routing techniques, exchanging traffic destined for local services providers connected to the exchange point locally without utilizing the expensive international link capacity.
Most Ghanaian ISPs connect to the Internet via expensive international bandwidth solutions such as VSAT and fiber. All of the country’s data traffic flows out over these expensive connections even if it is intended to reach a local, Ghanaian destination. This increases the cost burden on the various ISPs and Network Operators in terms of international bandwidth. It also causes the Internet to pose slow response to users interaction. The Internet Exchange Point is a low-cost networking device (facility) that will enable ISPs to interconnect and thereby pass packets locally. This will make data transmission more efficient and cheap. This simple device will also provide the infrastructure necessary for building a more robust local ICT industry. The GIX uses the router-reflector model of establishing the interconnect medium for the exchange of traffic. This provides an opportunity for operators to peer (exchange traffic) at a national level.