Due to the rapid growth of Internet in Saudi Arabia and the increased amount of users, traffic, and networks. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) recognized the need for governance and optimization for the way Internet traffic is being exchanged. As it is essential for the future digital growth, localization of data traffic, and enablement of a healthy Internet ecosystem within Saudi Arabia.
MCIT have announced the Saudi Internet Exchange Point, a not-for-profit exchange, as one of its initiatives under the National Transformation Program toward achieving Vision 2030. The initiative aim to strengthen the technical infrastructure of communication and information technology in the kingdom by providing services that improve the internet performance, increase the number of internet users, and enable the Kingdom to become a digital hub within the region. MCIT approached King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology to design, implement and operate SAIX.
In May 2017, Saudi Arabia Internet Exchange (SAIX) completed the implementation phase for its first site, and started working with Data Service Providers within the Kingdom to connect and enable the adoption of the IXP services as the starting phase for the initiative. SAIX first site is located in King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology Data Center, Riyadh. More sites are to be built in other locations within the Kingdom.
SAIX Objective is to provide a world-class neutral exchange point that can optimize the network performance for internet traffic in Saudi Arabia by reducing latency and improving localization of content and traffic. This is achieved by having a high speed, reliable exchange point that can enable peering for all national and international networks.
Becoming a member to SAIX will have many direct and indirect benefits for the joining member and the internet ecosystem around the exchange.
- Ensure that local traffic within the kingdom is exchanged nationally, thus avoid utilizing transit links or international hubs.
- Reduction of interconnection and bandwidth cost especially for operators where they can have a unified meeting points to connect and peer with other operators, which can reduce civil investment or transit capacity cost.
- Enhance quality and experience for Internet users and networks with the reduction of latency and number of hubs, and having better routing arrangements between networks.
- Promoting localization of content and traffic, by having a neutral Internet exchange point that can allow all networks to be able to peer with each other.
- Enable the attraction of other international networks and services to the kingdom.
- Make the internet community closer to each other with in Saudi Arabia and as well internationally.
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)