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Lifting barriers to Internet development in Africa: suggestions for improving connectivity

Michael Kende Senior Adviser, Consulting

Analysys Mason's study examines the factors hindering Internet development in Africa and explores possible remedies.

AfricaThe study, commissioned by the Internet Society, suggests that despite investments resulting in significant improvements to Africa's telecoms infrastructure during the past five years, these investments have in some cases not translated into lower prices or increased quality of service for Internet users. These investments have focused on undersea cable to improve international connectivity and terrestrial fibre networks between countries.

The study also shows that, in many countries, the development of Internet access is hampered by constraints on terrestrial connectivity between the submarine cables, the Internet exchange points (IXPs), last-mile access infrastructure and Internet service providers (ISPs) that deliver access to end users in Africa.

The report sets forth an Internet development approach focused on removing regulatory roadblocks and promoting Internet-specific investments, supported by a high-level policy environment to result in greater Internet availability and empowerment in Africa.

This latest report follows an Analysys Mason study commissioned by the Internet Society on the impact of IXPs in Kenya and Nigeria, which found that IXPs improve the quality of Internet services and save African operators millions of dollars annually in connectivity fees.

The IXP study shows that a key factor in the success of IXPs is the availability of low-cost, widely accessible connectivity – both domestically and across borders and oceans – and the study was commissioned to help address those gaps.

For more information about the study and the Internet Society, visit www.internetsociety.org/liftingbarriers.

 

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