Neu­tral ex­change urged


The non-profit Thai Net­work In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter Foun­da­tion (THNIC), an in­ter­ne­tre­lated or­gan­i­sa­tion, has de­ployed what it says is Bangkok’s first neu­tral in­ter­net ex­change in­fra­struc­ture to pro­mote the coun­try be­com­ing an Asean in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity cen­tre by 2018.

An in­ter­net ex­change point is a phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture through which in­ter­net ser­vice providers (ISPs) ex­change traf­fic be­tween their net­works (au­ton­o­mous sys­tems).

Hav­ing a neu­tral in­ter­net ex­change point will re­duce costs for in­ter­net tran­sit ser­vice for lo­cal ISPs by 30-60% and im­prove ser­vice qual­ity, said THNIC vice-chair­man Kan­chana Kan­chana­sut.

“The move will help to drive the gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to de­velop a dig­i­tal econ­omy,” she said.

The foun­da­tion set up an op­er­at­ing unit, BKNIX Co, to op­er­ate the in­ter­net ex­change ser­vice, with ini­tial reg­is­tered cap­i­tal of 1.1 mil­lion baht. It ob­tained a li­cence from the Na­tional Broad­cast­ing and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion for the ser­vice.

Ms Kan­chana said the ex­change points al­lowed all ISPs and de­sign net­work ar­chi­tects to use its fa­cil­ity for free dur­ing the first year.

Un­like the ex­ist­ing na­tional in­ter­net ex­change sys­tem in Thai­land, which was de­signed with a net­work ar­chi­tec­ture that tran­sits from other net­works to connect cus­tomers, THNIC’s sys­tem al­lows di­rect in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tiv­ity with­out the need for multi-peer con­nec­tiv­ity.

Nine com­pa­nies op­er­ate na­tional in­ter­net ex­change points in Thai­land. There are 20 ac­tive ISPs out of 100 to­tal com­pa­nies.

THNIC ob­tained fi­nan­cial sup­port of US$12 mil­lion from Al­ca­tel-Lu­cent to deploy routers. BKNIX’s cus­tomers in­clude Uni­ver­sity Net­work and United In­for­ma­tion High­way.

Ms Kan­chana said neu­tral in­ter­net ex­change points would also help to at­tract global in­ter­net firms to set up their servers here, re­duc­ing in­ter­na­tional band­width costs.

Se­bastien Lau­rent, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Al­ca­tel-Lu­cent (Thai­land), said with the surge of de­vices and dig­i­tal apps, do­mes­tic in­ter­net de­mand was likely to ex­plode.

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