France-IX supporting rapid Internet growth in Africa

France-IX supporting rapid Internet growth in Africa

French Internet Peering Service Provider France-IX rapidly expanded its presence in Africa in 2017, positioning itself for African networks and content providers wishing to peer with its community of several hundreds of carriers, ISPs and content delivery networks.

In addition, 2017 is seeing France-IX continue its programme of supporting the creation of new IXPs in Africa, the establishment of which is an important step in fostering Internet-based economic growth. This support mainly consists in providing training, equipment donation and technical assistance. France-IX started this initiative with CASIX in Morocco, followed by SENIX in Senegal, and is now planning to help Benin and Congo.

The rapid expansion of the France-IX community in Africa is due to a combination of new peering members joining the IXP in both its Paris and Marseille hubs and new connections via its remote peering partners with presence in Africa. Three new African networks – Angola Cables, Djibouti Telecom and Mauritius Telecom – were connected in 2017, bringing the total number of African members in the France-IX Paris and Marseille peering community to ten (adding to AFR-IX, Gulfsat Madagascar, Ooredoo Tunisia, Oranlink/Islalink, Seacom, Telma and WIOCC).

Three new remote peering partners also joined in 2017 – AFR-IX, Angola Cables and Telecom Italia Sparkle. Along with existing partner, BICS, these remote peering partners are now enabling more than 70% of African countries with French as its official first language to reach France-IX via a remote peering solution.

“We support the rapid expansion of Internet connectivity on the African continent by offering affordable, reliable, low-latency Internet peering services from France,” said Franck Simon, President at France-IX. “We are also looking forward to collaborating on the development of two new African IXPs, as this is a crucial part of building a sustainable domestic Internet ecosystem and their creation will stand as a positive marker of economic and social improvement.”

Africa, which is experiencing the most rapid growth of international Internet bandwidth, grew at a compound annual rate of 44% between 2013 and 2017. France-IX both contributes and benefits from this growth as 15% of its Marseille members are African ISPs who represent 30% of the total traffic exchanged in France-IX Marseille (with total traffic currently peaking at 100 Gbps). 

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