Reshaping the African Internet: From scattered islands to a connected continent Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2017

start page

  • 25

end page

  • 42


  • 113

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0140-3664

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-703X


  • There is an increasing awareness amongst developing regions on the importance of localizing Internet traffic in the quest for fast, affordable, and available Internet access. In this paper, we focus on Africa, where 37 IXPs are currently interconnecting local ISPs, but mostly at the country level. An option to enrich connectivity on the continent and incentivize content providers to establish presence in the region is to interconnect ISPs present at isolated IXPs by creating a distributed IXP layout spanning the continent. The goal of this paper is to investigate whether such IXP interconnection would be possible, and if successful, to estimate the best-case benefits that could be realized in terms of traffic localization and performance. Our hope is that quantitatively demonstrating the benefits will provide incentives for ISPs to intensify their peering relationships in the region.


  • african internet; distributed ixp infrastructure; interconnection scheme; peering; content providers