Africa tops the world in Internet growth – Report

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Despite the declining pace of Internet capacity globally from 41 percent in 2011 to 31 percent in 2015, new data has revealed that growth in international Internet capacity connected to Africa continues to outpace that of any other region in the world. Out of the eight regions profiled by TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography, African Internet bandwidth grew 41 percent between 2014 and 2015, and 51 percent compounded annually over the last five years, to reach 2.9 Tbps.

International Internet Bandwidth Growth by Region, 2011-2015. Source: Telegeography
According to the report, Oceania saw the second fastest growth rate of 47 percent per year between 2011 and 2015 to reach 2.1 Tbps, and capacity in Latin America and the Middle East grew 44 percent per year to 20.6 Tbps and 8.4 Tbps, respectively. While international Internet capacity in each of these regions has doubled every two years over the period, growth in Europe and the U.S. and Canada was far slower, at 33 percent compounded annually. “Despite the varying pace of new deployments, Internet capacity growth has slowed in all regions over the past five years. This trend has been especially apparent in Africa. Despite the continent recording strong capacity growth between 2011 and 2015, it was a far cry from the 93 percent compound annual growth rate seen between 2006 and 2010,” stated the report. It added that, while North African and Sub-Saharan African international Internet bandwidth increased more than 90 percent compounded annually between 2006 and 2010, growth rates among the sub-regions have varied substantially in recent years. Between 2011 and 2015, Internet bandwidth connected to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa rose at a much faster clip than that connected to North African countries, growing 66 and 43 percent per year, respectively. The report attributed increased capacity in the Sub-Saharan region to new cable builds on the east and west coasts of Africa, including MainOne, Glo1, ACE, SEACOM, EASSy, WACS, and others, along with new terrestrial networks. Meanwhile, content is moving to Africa as CDN services emerge and Google Global Cache servers are installed, tempering demand for long-haul capacity. TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography is a comprehensive source of data and analysis about international Internet capacity, traffic, service providers, ASN connectivity and pricing.

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