IP taking internet closer
By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya
Less than two years after completing the undersea portion of the first system to connect southern and eastern Africa to the rest of the world via India and Europe, SEACOM continues to drive the growth of the African internet by rolling out an Internet Protocol (IP) Platform into its international core network.
The IP Platform project involves the design, deployment and operation of nine land-based Internet access points that will store popular web content closer to where the internet is accessed, thereby enabling a richer and faster internet browsing experience for end users.
Six of these IP network nodes are already live including Mombasa Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Maputo, Marseille, and Mtunzini.
SEACOM’ s IP platform will allow direct routing between African countries through a single seamless network. As a result, customers are able to reach multiple countries using the shortest path to final destination without Internet traffic being transferred via Europe. Local continuity through direct routing combined with increased resilience through SEACOM’ s recent acquisition of east and west coast submarine cable capacity greatly reduces the exposure to data losses in the event of outages elsewhere on the network.
SEACOM’ s Regional Head Julius Opio said: “ Today, the majority of Internet content consumed in Africa is non-African, flowing from Europe and North America into Africa. We believe that the growth of the African ICT market, including mobile penetration and the eager adoption of social networking, coupled with the development of cloud services will result in a rapid increase in content on African soil. In the near future, the rest of the world will be viewing media generated in and stored on the African continent and SEACOM will remain at the forefront of developing the African Internet to support this trend.”
CISCO, Dimension Data and Interoute were closely involved in the design, procurement, logistics and deployment of the SEACOM IP network. This approach of partnering with established players to provide broadband services will continue as SEACOM develops its products and services based on resiliency, service quality and flexibility in line with customers’ evolving needs.
SEACOM believes in a world where the African Internet experience is characterised by abundant local content, minimal latency, fast download and streaming speeds, and interconnected African markets. Today, over a dozen countries across the African continent have access to SEACOM’ s low cost products and services via its extended network.