Africa’s leading independent Internet Service Provider, Liquid Telecom, has unveiled a sharp climb in the proportion of local content on its network, from 20 per cent three years ago to now 50 per cent.
This has been driven by the deepening of Africa’s internet infrastructure, and …
“By keeping African data in Africa we continue to help reduce the costs of Internet access across the continent, and improve the performance of that Internet to African Internet users,” said Ben Roberts, Liquid Telecom Kenya CEO and Chief Technical Officer of the Liquid Telecom Group.Internet users which now stands at millions of dollars a year in the costs of fetching data from outside the continent.
Presenting to the African Peering and Interconnection Conference(AFPIF), run by the Internet Society, in Mozambique today, Mathew Chigwende, Head of Data Networks at Liquid Telecom, reported that the ongoing climb in the number of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) serving the continent; the expansion of CDN Content Delivery Networks in Africa; and the interconnection between telcos and ISPs – were together seeing the proportion of data being uploaded to, or fetched from, outside Africa fall by 10 percentile points a year.
“We’re now confident we shall reach the Internet Society’s target of 80 per cent local content on Africa’s Internet infrastructure by 2020,” he said.
Liquid Telecom is present and actively peering at 15 IXPs, up from 13 last year, and 8 in 2013. As a result they are officially ranked by Renesys/Dyn to be the most peered African operator and the only African operator in the top 100 global peering rankings.
Liquid Telecom hosts one of Africa’s largest… IXPs, the Kenya Internet Exchange Point, at its carrier-neutral Tier 3 East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi and has been actively involved, as the supplier of Internet infrastructure to many of the continent’s telcos and ISPs, in developing interconnections between different providers and between the IXPs – in a technical process called ‘peering’.
“By keeping African data in Africa we continue to help reduce the costs of Internet access across the continent, and improve the performance of that Internet to African Internet users,” said Ben Roberts, Liquid Telecom Kenya CEO and Chief Technical Officer of the Liquid Telecom Group.
Peering though IXPs means local ISPs can connect and exchange data themselves, without paying a third party to retransmit their traffic to a local destination. By removing the need to transmit data using slower, external paths, this gives network operators greater control over both traffic flows and speeds.
Until recently, local traffic was often exchanged internationally, leaving Africa for an international exchange onto the right pathway, and then returning to the continent again.
The shift to local peering has delivered a dramatic reduction in Internet costs, from $3,375 to $200 per 64 kbit/s circuit, according to the Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK), thus opening up multiple new options in cheaper broadband, and cheaper data bundles.