Privately owned and operated, pan-African ICT enabler SEACOM is supporting the third African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in South Africa this year in line with its vision for the development of the Internet in Africa. AfPIF takes place from 22 to 24 August at the Hilton Sandton Hotel, Johannesburg.
SEACOM is a platinum sponsor and technology provider at the event, which seeks to foster national and cross-border interconnection opportunities throughout Africa.
SEACOM’s Head of Business Development, Aidan Baigrie, will be giving a keynote presentation at the event, while SEACOM Head of Engineering Mark Tinka will give a talk entitled ‘PeeringDB and The Role of Peering Coordinators’.
In his keynote address Baigrie is expected to discuss the role that submarine cables could play in the interconnection of Africa’s Internet.
SEACOM representatives will also participate in panel discussions.
AfPIF is an annual conference organised by the Internet Society (ISOC) to specifically address interconnection challenges together with the wide ranging opportunities the African continent offers. Key players from infrastructure and service providers, IXPs (Internet Exchange Points), regulators and policy makers gather at the event to share their experiences, learn from the experts and forge business relationships.
SEACOM will be delivering 2Gbps of Internet bandwidth (2000 times larger than an average home’s connection*) to this year’s event with the help of partners Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), Cisco Systems, and Juniper Networks. Dark Fibre Africa will provide two dedicated optical fibre cables between the Hilton Sandton Hotel and SEACOM’s Johannesburg backbone network at Isando. Cisco Systems will provide dedicated wireless radio transmitters for the conference venue meeting hall to ensure that users can connect their laptops, mobile phones and any other wireless-capable devices to the Internet at the event. Juniper Networks will provide the routing and switching infrastructure to move Internet traffic from the conference venue to SEACOM’s backbone in Isando.
Says Tinka: “As a company that promotes the growth and development of the African Internet, we see interconnection between African networks and service providers as one of the most vital issues for the telecoms industry. For that reason, we are committed to ensuring that the AfPIF-3 event is a success with world class, high speed Internet access available to participants attending the event in Johannesburg, as well as those attending the meeting remotely from the rest of the world.”
“When networks come together to exchange traffic at a reasonable cost, they are helping to accelerate growth of their local telecoms industries, make services more affordable for the end-user and improve the overall user experience,” he adds.
“We are supporting this event as a platform for growing awareness about why peering between African networks is so essential. It also brings all the key stakeholders together in an environment that facilitates cooperation and collaboration,” says Tinka.
ISOC is building on the success of the AfPIF premier events in 2010 and 2011 to provide more training and business opportunities for its attendees. AfPIF 2012 will provide a platform for open discussion and regional problem-solving, as well as for focusing on social and business networking.
*Assuming that the average home has a 1Mbps connection
Chris Tredger, Online Editor