Country-Specific Infrastructure

  Find the Internet pathways in/out of a country via exchange points, ISPs, and telecom carriers. 

Russ Portrait

Exchange points:

Underwater cables and example network maps

Satellite :   LyngsatSatNews, uplinkstation,

Datacenters / Web hosting /  Cloud services

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Countries develop local ISPs and local exchange points.  However not all ISPs will connect to the EP.  Even if they are connected to an EP, there is no guarantee as to which ISPs will "peer" with their neighbors at the same EP.

Some  scenarios:

  1. Country 1 - ISPs C,D each have Internet connections to US providers who inter-connect with each other.  IF C and D do not agree to peer at their country EP, then traffic between these two ISPs will flow via the US providers. C and D eventually become financially motivated to connect with each other in order to keep local traffic "local" and thus reduce the amount of international traffic they may be paying for.   ISP D must enter into an agreement with either C or E if his traffic is to leave the country.  Country 1 can only be reached via US connections.
  2. Country 2 - has an EP that has attracted the interest of a regional provider "L"  How does traffic from G reach J? It depends on the peering agreements in placed at both countries.  It could be a short hop via L or it may have to travel via US on G->B->J
  3. Country 3 - Their exchange point has attracted at least one major international ISP (UUNET, Teleglobe, Cable & Wireless, etc)

To learn about a country's infrastructure - begin with their Internet Exchange points.  There may be an exchange point within the country where many local ISPs interconnect with each other.   Some Exchange points may be  global in nature, where many international carriers and some larger regional carriers can interconnect.  -  go to the exchange point's home page - it might list who is connected. These ISPs should be the country's "larger" ISPs since they are present at an exchange point.  In most of these exchange point lists you will see the significant ISPs from within a country and then a couple of the larger regional or  international ISPs (Verizon, C&W, AT&T, Teleglobe, Sprint)   Some exchange points will also mention a list of telecommunications carrier that service their facility.  ISPs would lease a circuit from one of these carriers in order to connect to the exchange point.

Ultimately, the most definitive picture of the Internet infrastructure into/out of a country comes from doing traceroutes.  You must first identify destination sites which are "definitely" hosted physically inside the country (A traceroute will help confirm this) Easy hosts to trace towards, would include ISP homepages, Exchange Points, traceroute servers, Government homepages, etc. since these would tend to be located within their own country.   Due to routing asymmetry, you should also trace FROM the country outward -Use the resources on my traceroute page to locate traceroute servers from around the world.


Russ Haynal -  Internet Instructor and Speaker

Contact me at 703-729-1757 or  Russ 'at'  
If you use email, put "internet training" in the subject of the email.
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