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NAPAfrica off to flying start

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NAPAfrica, South Africa’s first, free and public peering facility, has reached 1 Gbps in multilateral peering traffic in just five months since launch.

Lex van Wyk, Managing Director at Teraco says that NAPAfrica is growing into the global voice and data exchange for Africa, focused 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.

NAPAfrica started as an initial exchange of just 64mbps and the recent growth makes it one of the largest multi-lateral peering exchanges in Africa. NAPAfrica offers customers an immediately visible and continuously growing network of peers with just one peering agreement. ‚”The simplicity of just one agreement is further enhanced by settlement-free interconnection,‚” says Van Wyk.

Van Wyk says that with the lack of reliable power and infrastructure in many parts of Africa, the opportunity exists to establish South Africa and its varied international connectivity as well as choice of local and international carriers, as a central hub from which ISPs and cloud services providers are able to service Africa. ‚”Teraco is the first premium, vendor neutral data centre offering access to highly secure, premier grade data centre infrastructure for colocation and diverse choice of connectivity to all services providers and their clients.

Instead of having to establish, manage and maintain individual peering sessions with each exchange participant, peers at NAPAfrica have the option of creating only one peering session with the route servers. ‚”Currently we manage 1045 interconnects and offer access to over 20 carriers offering our clients access to a total capacity of 23tbps.‚” says van Wyk. ‚”We’ve also seen over 4gbps of private peering live within the data centre which truly demonstrates the core benefit of an exchange like NAPAfrica.‚”

There are over 41 peers live at NAPAfrica and van Wyk says that the combined bandwidth savings for these peers is believed to be in excess of R1 million. He is confident that this list will continue to grow at the same lightning speed, ‚”We have a recipe for encouraging networking within the Teraco environments and this has resulted in a community where myriad technology is readily available.‚” Van Wyk says that the thinking is central to how Teraco helps create added benefits for its colocation clients and wider community. ‚”Colocation creates a virtual marketplace for the providers of various products and technologies to white label, buy and sell services within the data centre without incurring transit costs to reach one another’s infrastructure. Through NAPAfrica and Africa Cloud eXchange (ACX) these ecosystems are a reality, providing smaller ISPs and many start-ups with world class infrastructure and enabling them to compete on an equal footing.‚”

Van Wyk says that open peering and the cost saving involved will eventually impact the price of connectivity in South Africa lowering bandwidth costs. ‚”Free, open peering will decrease the cost of internet transit and ensure complete simplification of the process.‚”

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