South Africa’s biggest Internet exchange hits 4Tbps

NAPAfrica, Africa’s biggest Internet exchange point (IXP), has announced that it surpassed 4Tbps of traffic.

At the same time, it welcomed social media platform TikTok to its platform.

The Teraco-owned exchange point has seen 33% growth in traffic volumes in less than a year. NAPAfrica exceeded 3Tbps in February.

Established in 2012, NAPAfrica has over 560 members actively peering and has grown to become the sixth-largest exchange globally by number of members.

Peering locally gives organisations the ability to improve network resilience, lower costs, and reduce the latency customers experience when accessing online content and applications.

“The presence of over 250 carriers and networks is the drawcard for content providers like TikTok to join the exchange,” said Teraco head of platforms Michele McCann.

“One of the most significant benefits of an active peering community (or IXP) is the cost-effective, efficient distribution of content to the consumer.”

McCann said demand for business services like cloud and entertainment also just continues to increase.

The exchange recorded a big jump in Internet traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic, with more gradual growth continuing in the aftermath.

At the start of South Africa’s first hard lockdown, NAPAfrica traffic throughput broke 1Tbps for the first time. That doubled to 2Tbps by July of the following year.

“This continued surge in data traffic is primarily thanks to an African internet community that has embraced the value of peering,” McCann stated.

“[The community has also embraced] the increasing use of data-intensive applications, enterprises continuing to move into the cloud, and the ever-increasing demand for video, content, and gaming delivery services,” she said.

“These trends have driven greater traffic levels between cloud and service providers, enterprises, and end users.”

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South Africa’s biggest Internet exchange hits 4Tbps