Asteroid and NAPAfrica have announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the cooperation between the two organisations, and to collaborate on developing African Internet interconnection.
The cooperation focuses on promoting peering and local interconnection, with an emphasis on Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as an essential part of the Internet ecosystem.
NAPAfrica and Asteroid are both veterans in the IXP industry, and both bring a wealth of experience in interconnection, peering, and IXP operations to the table. Asteroid was founded by IXP experts, and aims to build lean, efficient IXPs, wherever there is a need in the world. NAPAfrica is a successful IXP in Africa with more than 500 networks connected, exchanging local and international Internet traffic in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa.
“We are proud to be teaming up with NAPAfrica to combine our competence and experience in IXPs and peering,” said Nurani Nimpuno, CCO at Asteroid. “We believe that Africa holds great potential for Internet growth, but there are still real challenges to solve in terms of in-country interconnection. IXPs can play a key role in boosting that, and at Asteroid we want to work play a positive role in that development. NAPAfrica with their amazing reputation and experience is an obvious partner for us to work with.”
This MoU highlights the commitment of both parties to not just collaborate, but to also share knowledge and experience with others in the region about the advantages of Internet eXchange Points and peering.
NAPAfrica and Asteroid believe in promoting local peering and building strong local communities, and see their role in educating and spreading awareness of local interconnection, as one that fits well within their missions.
“Asteroid has a solid team of reputable IXP experts. We are incredibly excited about their lean, efficient, and highly automated IXP model, and we think it’s a good fit in Africa”, says Michele McCann, head of Interconnection and Peering at NAPAfrica. “We are proud to be teaming up with Asteroid in promoting local interconnection and peering on the continent.”
Community building and sharing of best practices has proven to be fundamental in improving local peering and creating successful IXPs.
IXPs are uniquely able to encourage the development of a region’s communication infrastructure, including national and international fibre cables, and local data centre development.
The presences of an IXP in a country can also be instrumental in developing the local Internet ecosystem. It can improve Internet users’ access speeds and reduce latency significantly, encouraging the development of local content and local services.
The presence of an IXP has in many places proven to result in a variety of positive flow-on effects, such as improved resilience, a flourishing Internet market, and reduced out-of-country costs.
This MoU underlines Asteroid and NAPAfrica’s commitment to promoting IXPs and local interconnection, and to developing the Internet peering community in the wider African region.