Previously hosted at Bruce House within the Nairobi Central Business District, the Kenya Internet Exchange Point (KIXP), has successfully relocated to the East Africa Data Centre as part of the drive to raise local internet traffic and performance to international standards.
KIXP, the first Tier 3 data centre in East and Central Africa aims to give its members’ end users faster speeds and an enjoyable online experience. KIXP serves ISPs, mobile operators, network infrastructure operators, banks, academic and research networks, security experts, media houses and government Institutions among others. Kenya Revenue Authority, the Kenya Education Network and 33 other peering members, across telcos, corporates and independent ISPs.
Carrying four times the traffic that it was in 2011 and now the largest internet exchange point in East Africa, the KIXP moved into the East Africa Data Centre (EADC) in Nairobi in December last year in nuetral deal expected to help save local providers nearly $1.5m a year on international connectivity charges, according to the Internet Society.
By locally hosting content and services, IXPs in Kenya and Nigeria have saved millions in telecommunications costs, raising additional revenues, accelerating local data exchange, and encouraging the development of locally hosted content and services according to a report conducted by independent strategy and research consultancy, Analysys Mason. The report revealed KIXP has dramatically reduced latency of local traffic, speeding data from 200-600ms (milliseconds) to 2-10ms, on average.
KIXP presence also so Google place a cache in both Kenya and Nigeria in 2011, leading to faster speeds to access its services such as YouTube, Search and Gmail locally. Improved access to local content has led to increased usage, subsequently helping to increase the mobile data market by at least $6m per year in Kenya.
KIXP is now delivering an average of 1.2Gbps in bandwidth exchange, compared with 900 Kbps a decade ago when it opened – a more than 1000-fold increase. In 2008, KIXP reported an annual growth rate of over 300 per cent making it the fastest growing Internet Exchange Point in the world.
“We are delighted to now see the KIXP furnished in the region’s top data centre with scope to expand as fast as it needs to in keeping pace with internet use in Kenya and data demand,” stated Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) CEO Fiona Asonga, who runs the KIXP.
KIXP is a tier 3 facility and as yet, Africa has no dedicated Tier 4 facilities, which provide the highest level of data security. However, working with EADC, guarantees 99.98 per cent availability, making it the largest and most sophisticated data centre in the region.
The TESPOK wants to see more local organisations route traffic locally via the KIXP.