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1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad

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ISLAMABAD, JAN 27, (DNA) – Pakistan’s first Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) has been inaugurated at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad, under the headship of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and support of HEC as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Ms. Anusha Rehman, State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication was the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony held at Commission’s Secretariat here on Friday. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC were also present.

The hardware equipment required for the establishment of Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has been donated by Huawei Technologies, Pakistan. Pakistan Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) will serve as an exchange point for all local ISPs that will help in reducing latency rates for all domestic traffic.

The primary purpose of PKIX is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more third-party networks. It will also enable local networks to efficiently exchange information at a common point within Pakistan rather than exchanging local Internet traffic with outside world. More than seven national telecom and internet carriers  have become part of Pakistan`s First Internet Exchange Point. The first Internet Exchange Point has been established in Islamabad. The way forward is Regional Internet Exchange Points in other cities like Lahore, Karachi and Quetta.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister congratulated the HEC, PTA and the audience on inauguration of the first Internet Exchange Point in Islamabad. She said that IXP was mandated by telecommunication policy which contains various steps aiming at promotion of ICT in the country. “Steps being taken under the telecommunication policy will take Pakistan to its ultimate destination of leading the world as a key player in IT,” she said.

Ms. Anusha Rehman said the policy which has a critical one-point agenda to connect the unconnected is being strictly followed for improvement in connectivity in the country. She stressed the need for cooperation between public and private sectors to remove hurdles in the way of increasing connectivity.

The Minister informed the audience about her Ministry’s initiatives for development of IT sector in Pakistan including the plan to establish National Incubation Centre and setups on artificial intelligence and robotics. She said the Ministry is pursuing a comprehensive programme as an enabler and supporter to facilitate other ministries as well as other organizations in benefitting from the development in the IT sector.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed briefed the Minister about the 29th South Asian Network Operators Group Conference being held at HEC. He said MoIT, HEC and PTA have to work together to get benefits of IT tools and technologies. He said the Government is putting its resources through various programmes for promotion of higher education in the country. He said HEC is dedicatedly playing its part to facilitate the higher education institutions with ICT services aiming at the country’s socio-economic development.

Dr. Ismail Shah lauded the MoIT and HEC for their efforts to promote utilization of new technologies in their respective spheres. He said the country has witnessed a great improvement in the use of internet. The number of broadband users has reached 40 million in Pakistan, he informed. He termed the inauguration of IXP as a milestone in the IT sector and hoped that such Internet Exchange Points will soon be launched in Lahore, Karachi and other cities as well.

 






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