Lex van Wyk, managing director of Teraco Data Environments.
Free and public peering facility NAPAfrica today announced open access for peering members to major international content providers. Lex van Wyk, managing director of Teraco Data Environments, says NAPAfrica is swiftly developing into a content hub for Africa. “The addition of these content giants to NAPAfrica means that local users can access international content from a local node. This will dramatically reduce transit costs and download speeds for African Internet users.”
This announcement comes shortly after NAPAfrica reached 1Gbps in multilateral peering traffic in just five months since launch. The exchange is now one of the largest multilateral peering exchanges in Africa focusing not only on local Internet service providers (ISPs), but on large content providers, carriers and enterprise, both local and international, to service the whole of Africa. “We have seen a dramatic spike in growth with the addition of this content,” says Van Wyk.
Leading cloud platform and content delivery network provider Akamai strongly believes in the Internet exchange model, and spokesperson Christian Kaufmann says they use many of the globe's Internet exchanges. “Working with a major IX of a region gives us the opportunity to peer with multiple networks at the same time. This allows us to save transit costs, and even more important, brings our content closer to the end-user and so largely improves the user experience.”
“Video will be the next big thing of the Internet,” says Kaufmann. “Industry predictions say that, by 2015, more than 90% of Web traffic will be video, and as appetite for HD video continues to increase and the number of devices explodes, consumers expect a high-quality experience on any device, anywhere.”
“There have been predictions for some time now that a ‘tidal wave’ of video-driven data will flood the Internet, and ISPs and IXPs have been gearing up to accommodate the influx,” says Van Wyk. “As a result, decreasing the absolute cost of Internet transit is one of the principle drivers for pursuing an Internet peering strategy and is very necessary in Africa.”
Van Wyk says the days that South African Internet users envy the incredible download speeds of their international peers are numbered. “The addition of international content providers to NAPAfrica ultimately means that end-users will be able to view video content without endless buffering and access international gaming platforms with a substantially quicker response.” Through open peering, users of ISPs who are present at NAPAfrica will notice the dramatic increase in speed to access applications like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Microsoft Updates, as a few examples.
“It’s clear that international content providers choose to peer with NAPAfrica because of the ability to grow through open and free peering giving access to a larger, diverse marketplace,” says Van Wyk.