On 11-12 August, the Internet Society, with the help of local host, the Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) facilitated the inaugural African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) meeting.
The event was a major success thanks to the fantastic regional and international speakers that participated, our sponsors TESPOK, Google, Orange, NETNOD, AMS-IX, and DE-CIX, and a great turnout of engaged participants from across Africa.
The purpose of AfPIF is to provide a platform to discuss key regional interconnection opportunities and challenges in Africa, exchange global and regional insights on peering strategies and approaches, and provide network operators, IXPs, and others across the region an opportunity to meet with future peering and interconnection partners.
Over 150 people from some 20 African countries attended. The wide-ranging presentations and discussion topics included; the economics of peering vs. transit, African infrastructure assets, cross-border policy and regulatory issues, peering and interconnection jargon, contracts, and strategies, the role of local content, and approaches being used by African operators to grow from domestic to regional carriers. Dr. Peering, Bill Norton, hosted an entertaining and informative round of “The Peering Game”.
In addition, several interesting announcements were made at the meeting, including Google’s plans to establish a point of presence in Kenya in 2011 (which follows the company’s launch of a POP in Nigeria this year), Orange Kenya’s plans to continue expanding backhaul capacity in East African and beyond, Seacom’s plans to offer transit services in addition to capacity, and many others.
The meeting received excellent comments from participants and generated a lot of interest and momentum to move forward with the Forum. An AfPIF mailing list will be launched shortly.
If you missed the meeting, the presentations and audio files have been posted on the AfPIF agenda page. Video will be posted soon. Please do come back and check them out!
And to make a great week even better, on 13 August, the Internet Society also participated in the TESPOK launch event for the Mombasa IXP. We donated time, training, and equipment to assist the new IXP, and it was fantastic to be there with TESPOK and others from the Kenyan Internet community to share in the excitement of the occasion.
For more information about the IXP, please visit Bill Norton’s model of the value of the KIXP (Kenya’s IXP in Nairobi) using local estimates on transit and peering costs. It’s available here.