Arusha in Tanzania has launched its own Internet Exchange Point (IXP), making it the first non-capital city in East and Central Africa to own its own physical infrastructure to enable local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to connect to each other and exchange local traffic using peering agreements. The Arusha Internet Exchange Point (AIXP) connects directly to its national counterpart, the Dar-es-Salaam based Tanzania Internet Exchange Point (TIXP), which was the first IXP established in the country. The AIXP will be the local platform connecting the Northern Zone’s ISPs such as Benson Online (BOL), Milan Cable TV and Internet Service, Africaonline, Cyber-net broadband, Nexus-Digital and Arusha Node Marie (Habari).
Under the new agreement, local internet users in Arusha will be able to bypass third-party providers to enjoy faster download times, cheaper prices and improved security. AIXP coordinator Erick Rowberg has welcomed the move which he says reduces Tanzania’s reliance on foreign data controllers, adding that most African countries have been reduced to ‘mere satellites for the global internet networks’. Tanzania plans to add additional internet access points in Mwanza City and then Dodoma Municipality.