NAPAfrica has become Africa’s Largest Internet Exchange Point


NAPAfrica recently announced the successful attainment of 20Gbps throughput with more than 180 members across its locations in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. This in line with its previous commitment to become the principal Internet Exchange Point in Africa.

It serves as an alternative to multiple direct links to varied providers by acting as a single peering point that allows multiple networks and ISPs to interconnect using an exchange environment. Some benefits of connecting to this platform includes 100% free peering: no membership or port fees; multi and bi-lateral peering arrangements; the most content and largest active peering community in Africa. In an interview with Michele McCann, Business Development Manager of Teraco, she explains the importance of an internet exchange point on the continent while attending to the growing demand for content. Why the need for an Internet exchange point? The primary role of an IXP is to keep local Internet traffic within local infrastructure.

An IXP is a set of physical infrastructure (routing equipment, etc.) where Internet Service Providers and Content Providers interconnect in order for Internet traffic to be exchanged between themselves and others who are connected to the exchange. The main benefits include low cost, reduced latency and increased resilience by routing not only relying on upstream providers. How does NAPAfrica intend to stimulate the development of a neutral internet exchange? NAPAfrica has stimulated the development of a neutral Internet exchange and reduced 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.

 This is working well and will continue to do so. What edge does NAPAfrica have over traditional exchanges? 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 sub-Saharan 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.

Do you think that in the coming years this system will replace traditional exchanges? Housing an exchange in a neutral data centre has become as global standard. As has the provision of 1Gbps ports on an exchange that are not charged for become a global standard too. NAPAfrica is focused on aligning exchange policies with these global standards. Why is this latest development important to investors? NapAfrica has created significant value over the existing colocation offerings as well as grown the Teraco ecosystem. This has naturally added excellent value to the overall offering.

Source: Ventures Africa 10 February 2015