Almost 60 000 iBurst subscribers and hundreds of thousands of Tertiary Education Network (Tenet) academic users should notice improved Internet access now that the two organisations are connected to the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (Jinx).
Jinx enables ISPA (Internet Service Providers' Association of SA) members to interconnect networks and exchange local traffic in order to save costs. Advantages for Internet users include reduced latency and increased reliability.
"Companies with their networks connected to JINX are able to offer their customers improved access speeds to other JINX-connected networks. This removes bottlenecks caused by over subscribed international connections and provides additional redundancy and reliability to these networks," says Rob Hunter, chair of ISPA's Jinx Working Group.
This is of particular importance to applications where latency is an important consideration such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP customers communicating between two Jinx-connected ISPs should experience a higher quality of service.
Hunter adds that Jinx supports IPv6 and will encourage its members to ensure they are fully IPv6 ready in 2008. IPv6 is the successor to IPv4 which is the current version of the Internet Protocol (IP) used for communicating data across the Internet. The key advantage of IPv6 is that it has a much larger address space allowing for greater flexibility in assigning addresses. Regional Internet Registries worldwide are expected to run out of IPv4 addresses in the near future.
Jinx currently interconnects most major South African IP backbones and is currently hosted in Rosebank, Johannesburg by Internet Solutions.
ISPA is planning a significant upgrade to the Jinx switch in the third quarter of 2008 to cater for increased demand.
In 1996, Jinx's four links boasted speeds varying from 64kbps to 256kbps; 12 years later, it has more than 20 links in place with link speeds that vary from 2Mbps to 1Gbps. Peak traffic exchanged at Jinx has doubled in the last year after doubling in the previous year as well.
ISPA hopes that the ability to easily exchange IP traffic at Jinx will encourage new members to join the Association which already represents 150 large, medium and small Internet service and access providers in South Africa.