Neutral peering exchange NAPAfrica has said today it has reached a record-breaking peak of 15Gbps, making it the largest Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in Africa.
According to Michele McCann, business development manager for NAPAfrica, “It was launched in March 2012, and by December 2013 traffic was peaking at 5Gbps. In a little over two years, NAPAfrica has outperformed other leading IXPs by achieving double-digit growth. This rapid adoption by the market proves that peering exchanges are a much needed facility in the African Internet ecosystem.”
NAPAfrica is housed within each of Teraco’s vendor neutral data centre facilities in sub-Saharan Africa with the aim to make Internet more affordable and also advance the development of the Internet ecosystem.
“Peering is not new,” reminds McCann. The practice of ISPs, backbone providers and content providers exchanging traffic directly – either for money or for free – has been in existence for many years. “This interconnection and exchange encourages the local routing of domestic or regional traffic and in doing so, reduces costs and improves performance. In reaching 15Gbps, NAPAfrica has just proven yet again that the IXP model works and makes a positive contribution to the Internet economy of Africa.”
The role of the IXP in Africa will continue to grow in importance as the Internet increasingly globalises and interconnection between networks, content providers and users become even more critical: “Consumer demand for services with increased bandwidth requirements will continue to surge with lower tolerance levels for latency,” says McCann.
IXPs increase Internet usage, development of mobile technologies, improving national connectivity and growing access to international connectivity. NAPAfrica has 140 members across its three Internet Exchange Points. Africa has been lagging, mostly because of a lack of understanding of the IXP role and what benefits it can provide. Kenya’s IXP also aims to help drive internet consumption in the country.