The Internet Society latest report, which illustrates how better connectivity represents a key opportunity for countries to continue to develop more resilient digital economies, has pointed out that Internet Exchange Points will continue to play a critical role in expanding Internet access and lowering connectivity costs in Africa.
The report ‘Anchoring the African Internet Ecosystem: Lessons from Kenya and Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Points Growth’, also explains the steps African countries can take to bring faster and less expensive Internet connectivity to the continent.
The report reveals how a vibrant Internet ecosystem is critical to bringing faster, and more affordable Internet to Africa.
“The growth of the IXPs in each country was exponential, as were the cost savings from exchanging traffic locally rather than using expensive international transit. In Kenya, KIXP grew from carrying peak traffic of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) in 2012 to 19 Gbps in 2020, with cost savings quadrupling to USD six million per year. In Nigeria, IXPN grew from carrying just 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) to peak traffic of 125 Gbps in 2020, and cost savings increased forty times to USD 40 million per year,” the report disclosed.
It noted that Kenya and Nigeria are in a better position than ever before to cope with and contribute to the digital revolution that COVID-19 has accelerated as the Internet becomes a lifeline for many people, adding that Africa is ready to embrace the digital revolution to spur economic development.
Internet exchange points (IXPs) are locations where Internet service providers (ISPs) and other network operators meet and exchange Internet traffic. They are a critical piece of technical infrastructure that improves Internet access by keeping Internet traffic local. Without a local IXP, Internet service providers have to use expensive international Internet connectivity to exchange and access content, which is usually hosted abroad. Allowing traffic to remain local results in faster and more affordable Internet access.