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Home Tech South Africa Hosts The Largest Internet Exchange Point In Africa

South Africa Hosts The Largest Internet Exchange Point In Africa

by Stella Kabura
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NAPAfrica just announced that it has finally achieved its goal of reaching a throughput of 20Gbps with more than 180 members across its locations in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa. This follows its declarations of becoming one of Africa’s largest Internet exchanges with the help of its fast growing community of peers.

“The understanding around the benefits of a neutral Internet exchange model has grown exponentially as a result of the NAPAfrica offering in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now a far more common and accepted model. Before its launch, the exchange market in sub-Saharan Africa was either a monopoly or non-existent, which never bodes well for pricing and service delivery,” said Lex van Wyk, CEO of Teraco, the home of NAPAfrica.

Founded in 2008, Teraco builds and operates its colocation data centres for the most demanding IT infrastructure requirements, including the increased power and cooling demands of today’s high-density cloud server computing environments backed by a 99.999% uptime guarantee. Client equipment and data centre environmental parameters are monitored 24×7 and staffed by specialists versed in all aspects of colocation facility management. Teraco has grown to include three state-of-the-art colocation data centres in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg and is also home to NAPAfrica, a neutral layer two Internet peering exchange (IX) point.

Established in 2012, NAPAfrica’s aim is to stimulate the development of a neutral Internet exchange and reduce IP interconnection costs and complexity in sub-Saharan Africa. Its aim is also to ensure that content is no longer sourced from Europe, but cached and available locally on the African continent.

Being based within the heart of Teraco’s client communities and ecosystems has been a key driver for NAPAfrica’s fast growth. As the only neutral facility in Africa, Teraco gives clients access to the largest community of local and global content, undersea cable operators, sub-Saharan carriers, ISP’s and cloud operators.

Van Wyk noted that the team has been steadfast in its commitment to growing the sub-Saharan Internet exchange to becoming Africa’s biggest and a recognised global player. “Teraco has been a key partner in our expansion into the African continent.  We selected Teraco for its robust platform, density of connectivity and ability to scale with the explosive growth of the CloudFlare service,” said Joshua Motta, special projects, Cloudlfare.

NAPAfrica’s community is currently 180 peers strong; Cloudfare, a content delivery network and domain name server (DNS) distributor, signed up in December 2014.

As further testament to the huge demand for content in sub-Saharan Africa: Akamai, on of the world’s largest content delivery networks (CDN), has just undergone additional bandwidth upgrades to distribute more content locally.

Its assumed that the benefits of connecting to NAPAfrica include 100 per cent free peering: no membership or port fees; multi and bi-lateral peering arrangements; the most content and largest active peering community in Africa.

According to van Wyk, the initiative is thus expected to expand its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa and to exceed 20GBps within the next quarter.

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