The Internet Exchange Point (IXP) project, aims at creating an International Internet hub in the United Arab Emirates. The IXP will serve as a platform for ISPs, network operators, content providers, content delivery networks and large networks to exchange Internet traffic. It will also facilitate and support the distribution of regional content to the Internet.
The main objectives of the projects are to:
• enhance the performance of the Regional IP network, which will result in improvement of the Internet usage;
• reduce the overall cost of IP infrastructure and services in the region which will be of benefit to the end users;
• increase localized digital content;
• ensure reliable IP services in the UAE and the region;
• allow for the optimal use of available infrastructures and capacities;
• enhance the Economic status for the participating countries due to mass use of internet, ease in carrying out e-business, growth in e-learning, evolvement of Arabs as leading IT professionals, better e-governance facilities and telecommunication vibrancy; and
• attract cable providers and content providers.
A typical IXP requires collaborative effort between all stakeholders to enable "localization" of internet traffic. This is achieved through establishing "peering" sessions between the participants on a high speed switching fabric or using other technologies on settlement-free basis.
The project is currently being executed by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority with the collaboration of many stakeholders such as Local Telecom operators, major Internet companies and major content players.
The TRA will ensure that the IXP will follow the International best practices in term of neutrality, policies, practices, operations, technology and requirements. The project is expected to be launched at the end of year 2011.