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‘90% of African internet content hosted outside continent’

‘90% of African internet content hosted outside continent’.

Roll-out of content delivery networks (CDNs) by telecom operators has accelerated access to the internet for African users even though the vast majority of services are hosted outside Africa.

This is according to Mark Tinka, head of engineering at Pan-African telecom enabler SEACOM, has noted in a press statement that CDNs have enabled internet users on the continent access to web resources much faster.

He explained that the next phase in the development of Africa’s internet infrastructure is expected to see more content and services brought closer to end-users, which could spur on further growth.

“Over the past six years, we have seen a great deal of activity in Africa’s telecom market as providers have invested in infrastructure such as carrier-neutral data centres, open peering internet exchange points, national and regional fibre links and submarine cables,” said Tinka.

“The next step will be to host more content within Africa, rather than in Europe and the US - 90% of African internet content is hosted outside the continent today. We’d like to see that figure reversed so that 80% or 90% of content is hosted within African,” he said.

According to the statement, CDNs accelerate and optimise file downloads, video and music playback, and software updates requested for by operators and internet service providers connected to a telecom network.

This means that there is lower latency, faster speeds and a more reliable service when accessing popular web services and content from around the world for the end user.

“CDNs will make it more viable for African content owners to host their content within the continent. Many content owners currently host their content in Europe or the US because regional links between many African countries are of relatively poor quality. Now they can bring it back to Africa,” Tika added.

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