Local and regional businesses have been urged to leverage peering and interconnection through IXPs to drive traffic-efficient business continuity and growth in Nigeria and West Africa.
This call was part of the submission at the first webinar for the year organized by Rack Centre titled ‘Interconnection and Peering: The Role of IXPs and Peering to Drive Traffic Efficient Business and Ecosystem Growth in Nigeria,” held on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
Leading the conversation during the webinar series, the keynote speaker, Muhammad Rudman, Chief Executive Officer, IXPN, explained that the significance of IXPs in improving internet penetration cannot be overemphasized because it helps to interconnect all the network operators towards the exchange of traffic.
Rudman noted that IXP remains a critical piece of infrastructure needed to help improve internet access by ensuring that internet traffic is localized, making it faster and affordable. He disclosed that 90% of internet traffic in Nigeria is mainly on mobile devices stating that there is a need for traffic to shift to other devices. He identified infrastructure, interconnectivity, content application, and cloud as the critical technical infrastructure required to support internet ecosystem growth in the region.
In his opening remarks, the Head, of Interconnection and Exchange Platforms, AF-CIX, Obinna Adumike, noted that it has become necessary for interconnection and peering to happen among IXPs as this would go a long way to drive internet penetration in Nigeria, thus helping to equal the global average of 66%.
According to Adumike, with peering and interconnection, the cost of content cloud providers would certainly experience a latency drop and reduction in bandwidth. While admitting that the internet penetration rate is still relatively low, he noted that the development and influx of IXPs, cloud, and content providers in Nigeria would contribute a great deal in bridging the internet penetration gap, especially with interconnection and peering.
“You will notice that a significant amount of Automated Systems Numbers (ASN) are currently not accounted for within the interconnection and peering space if you look at the sectors such as finance and education. If we get these sectors into the peering and interconnection space, they will deliver better service to their clients”, he said.
He noted that AF-CIX would continue to support the growth of the Internet in Africa through effective and functional traffic localization, enterprise digitization acceleration, and community support, among other reasons- it is specifically designed to complement the role of Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria by providing a redundant path for local traffic exchange and a robust Interconnect Exchange through its partnership with DE-CIX.
Also speaking, the Edge Strategy Manager, Meta, Ben Ryall, explained that the intended goal of keeping internet traffic local places businesses at a better advantage as it would help to reduce cost and improve reliability.
On her part, Peering and Interconnect Specialist, NAP Africa, Yolandi Cloete, noted that the challenge regarding the commercial viability of IXPs lies with the understanding of peering and how companies or networks can benefit.
Other speakers at the event include the Chief Technical Officer, Swift Talk, Austin Uwudia, and Partner Manager, DE-CIX, Darwin Da Costa.