Since declaring its intentions to become one of Africa’s largest Internet exchanges with the help of its fast growing community of peers; NAPAfrica recently announced that it has indeed achieved its goal and is reaching a throughput of 20Gbps with more than 180 members across its locations in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
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.
“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,” says Lex van Wyk, CEO of Teraco, the home of NAPAfrica.
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 says 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.
NAPAfrica’s community is currently 180 peers strong; Cloudfare, a content delivery network and domain name server (DNS) distributor, signed up in December 2014. “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,” says Joshua Motta, special projects, Cloudlfare.
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.
The benefits of connecting to NAPAfrica include 100% free peering: no membership or port fees; multi and bi-lateral peering arrangements; the most content and largest active peering community in Africa.
“We are aggressively expanding our footprint in sub-Saharan Africa and remain confident that we will exceed 20Gbps within the next quarter,” concludes van Wyk.