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Growing the Internet 13 July 2012

Uganda IXP Completes Major Upgrade

By Wilson AbigabaIT Projects Manager of Orange Uganda's Internet Protocol Contact Center

The Uganda Internet exchange point (UIXP) has completed a major upgrade that has seen its network transform from the traditional ‘Layer 2’ exchange to ‘Layer 3’, thanks to a community grant from Internet society and a Jon Postel Award. This development will greatly enhance the IXPs efforts to scale and offer more options and stability to the peers

The project was started in January 2012 with the installation of a power back up system. This involved decommision the ageing 800va inverter + 100ah battery that had served for over 10 years to a new 3kva and two100ah batteries. This saw the UIXP go 6 months without any power outage (despite the frequent power cuts) and thus paving way for installation of more equipement.

Meanwhile, a country wide IPv6 training campaign was carried in March/April 2012 where 8 universities around Uganda were covered. This training targeted final year university IT students and fresh graduates who are just getting into the field. The future belongs to the youth and it is therefore imperative to groom these youths to embrace the future and have them train others when they get to the field. This training was an emmense success and saw the Uganda ISOC chapter membership grow by over 100 with increased IPv6 related questions. Today, 2 of the universities covered are setting IPv6 test labs to groom the students more and some others are planning the same.

In July 2012, thanks to a donation from OSI hardware which was obtained when Wilson attended NANOG53 after winning the Jon Postel scholarship, the route server was installed and commissioned with both IPv4 & IPv6 peering enabled. Orange Uganda, which offered bandwith & technical configuration to the UIXP, had launched IPv6 services the previous week and was subsquently the first to peer with the new route server on IPv6.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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