A Strong Internet Exchange Ecosystem Is A Missing Piece In The Rapid Adoption Of Edu-Tech In India: Raunak Maheshwari
2020 and 2021 have seen the increase in work-study-at-home solutions and options which have dramatically increased the demand for wired broadband due to the increase in data consumption and the need for high internet. constant flow. Internet exchange infrastructure that will play a vital role in overhauling India’s interconnection system. To learn more about this, Financial Express Online brought Raunak Maheshwari, director of Extreme Labs, to discuss everything on the internet and upcoming trends in educational technology. Excerpts:
A lot has changed since the lockdown, what do you think is the next set of changes we can see in the education sector?
The pandemic has led to the digital transformation of many businesses and industries as operations move rapidly and fully online. The traffic has increased several times and this change has led to a more Internet interface which has also significantly helped to establish the basis for the adoption and implementation of electronic technology in the country.
2020 has been a year that has helped put the idea of electronic technology on the map. Schools, universities and educational institutions are now all online, working on programming / launching dedicated learning platforms that are user-friendly by nature. The key is to reach remote areas of the country and ensure continuity. The sudden but timely merger of education and technology has created an opportunity for people in remote and rural parts of the country to now have access to quality education without any infrastructural setbacks, thus coming one step closer to reducing poverty. Numeric fraction. between urban and rural and semi-rural areas.
Although EdTech platforms like Byju’s, UpGrad and UnAcademy have been operational for several years, people realized in 2020 that they could act as a means for advanced children / learners to easily access quality education that will help them in career of their choice. I believe EdTech offers a solution that also acts as an opportunity for students across the country.
Why and how do you think the idea of electronic technology will help grade ii / grade iii schools and rural areas of the country?
A resident of the nation’s popular education center, Kota, I am convinced that education and wiring technology can dramatically improve the way we teach students and what students remember. It is a universal fact that short videos are now the tool that easily catches someone’s attention, so why not try implementing the same in educational institutions.
Another worrying aspect that ed-tech addresses is that many cities in level iii and iv do not have access to quality education due to the lack of passionate teachers, resulting in a lack of solid core concepts in children. For times like these, ed-tech as a sector offers an opportunity to fill these ever-growing gaps. In addition to providing a platform to deliver training from qualified teachers, many start-ups are also working around the clock to create online educational libraries in vernacular languages to further amplify the movement of ed-tech.
Given that constant speed and affordable Internet options are not available nationwide, what steps need to be taken to reform this aspect?
We are slowly moving towards a more digitalized country, but it is a distant dream due to the unavailability of faster, more affordable internet across the country. Many businesses and educational institutions can continue to operate via the Internet if a more structured setup is available across the county.
Although the government is actively working to achieve digitization goals, fiber optic broadband is playing a major role in achieving these goals. Fiber is as affordable as conventional broadband configurations, but it’s much easier and faster to deploy and maintain. ISPs also draw on the expertise of local cable operators who already have a wired infrastructure, thus contributing to the Digital India initiative.
Besides the establishment of fiber broadband, the introduction and rapid adoption of Internet exchange points will also play a central role in reforming the way India interconnects. At Extreme IX, India’s leading internet exchange point, we try to create a legacy and help democratize content. Internet Exchange is basically an infrastructure that provides seamless interconnectivity and data exchange between various networks, namely Internet service providers and content delivery networks like Amazon, Cloudfare, among others.
How does the adoption of Internet eXchange Point directly contribute to the rapid adoption of electronic technology?
The adoption of electronic technology has been more gradual in the country. The ongoing lockdown has created a need to aggressively switch to electronic technology solutions. Although metropolitan cities have been aware of the idea of electronic technology, it was not until 2020 that non-metropolitan cities began to participate in it as well.
Metropolitan cities have easily been able to adapt to the electronic technology revolution with the availability of faster high-speed Internet access, but non-metropolitan cities have not been able to keep pace. The lack of stable internet connections and the sheer amount of investment have created bottlenecks on the path to rapid adoption of broadband in Tier II and Tier III cities. There is hardly any wired broadband available in rural areas. To meet this challenge, Internet Service Providers must consider and opt for Internet Exchange as a permanent one. Internet eXchange like that of Extreme IX can help introduce cheaper broadband solutions and expand unbuffered learning experiences, which can help pave the way for a comparatively brighter future for Edutech in India. These Internet exchange points are also helping to expand stable and affordable Internet solutions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the country.
To explain the underlying science, Internet exchange points provide a possibility of direct data exchange between content providers and Internet service providers, which will result in lower upstream costs allowing ISPs to offer very affordable broadband packages. Plus, with localized content, users wouldn’t have to wait for content to load or buffered during a learning session. In addition, it would also push more users to sign up for digital education platforms with a richer user experience that is lighter on the pockets. Additionally, when EdTech platforms collaborate with IXs, the cost of distributing content is dramatically reduced, providing more affordable plans that will allow more students to subscribe.
During the lockdown, many Tier 2 and 3 cities faced internet challenges that impacted a child’s education. How do you think the introduction of IXP players like Extreme IX can help solve this problem?
Physical interaction in schools and colleges is a distant dream for the next few months, maybe years too, so the only thing that can provide lifelong learning, especially for children, is to learn through the internet. Although initially faced with many logistical challenges, e-learning is emerging as a must-have solution for children and adults alike. If the country as a collective wishes to ensure access to quality education, it is necessary to popularize the Edutech story of India, which requires focusing on the establishment of infrastructure.
Affordable and fast internet is still a luxury in most parts of the country, but this is where the internet exchange point will play a role leading to faster adoption of Ed-tech across the country. In Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the broadband industry is mostly unorganized or nonexistent, resulting in either slower connection speeds at a higher cost or no access at all. Due to the higher prices, many users are unable to access high-speed internet, reducing the chances of children in isolated pockets to take advantage of electronic technology.
Not only limited to ed-tech, do you think internet exchange points will also help schools and the education sector in general?
Online education is the new normal and even after students have resumed their offline studies and returned to institutions, people will still want to keep looking for knowledge on popular EdTech platforms while the internet will play as well. an important role in academic sessions.
We are already seeing that major universities and colleges provide free high speed internet access to their students for research and work purposes. With more and more localized content, there is no need for schools or ISPs in the same city to connect through a third-party internet provider. They can simply interconnect at a common aggregation point (IXP) and directly exchange traffic. OTTs can also bring their infra to such aggregation points and then only about 20 to 30% of the traffic will be required from telecommunications players or other large networks. Here, IXPs will go a long way to help the education sector in general to adapt to the new normal and to make learning based on electronic technologies affordable, thus helping to bridge the digital divide and the divide in quality education. .