Raxio Data Centre, Uganda Internet Exchange Point host ‘Peer Fest’ in recognition of growing peering community

Organized by Raxio Data Centre and Uganda Internet eXchange Point (UIXP), the ‘Peer Fest’ has been developed as an annual event to promote awareness, foster collaboration, and develop Uganda’s peering and interconnection ecosystem.

The event was attended by Internet industry executives, business development managers, peering coordinators, policy-makers, regulators, content providers, infrastructure providers, and data centre managers

In May 2020, the Raxio Data Centre and Uganda Internet eXchange Point (UIXP) signed a deal to expand the UIXP’s neutral switching infrastructure into the Raxio data center. This deal will enable Raxio customers to easily interconnect with each other via a common point in order to lower costs, increase performance, and improve reliability.

By making a single connection to the UIXP, Raxio customers will get direct access to content providers, end-user access networks, enterprise networks, DNS services, academic networks, government networks, and global carriers

“Uganda Internet eXchange Point (UIXP) being hosted at Raxio Data Centre, means we that we it possible for our peering customers to switch local traffic locally under one roof. This is a huge advantage for our Enterprise clients, Cloud Partners and Reseller Partners who through their ISPS, MNO and carrier partners will access the IXP Infrastructure, caching and routing. Local Content being switched locally means that we should realise a drop in internationally routed traffic that inevitably results into cost savings and Improved customer experience due to low latency, this is a benefit that can easily be extended to the end user” said James Byaruhanga, General Manager at Raxio Data Centre.

Kyle Spencer, the Executive Director of the UIXP, said that the UIXP’s expansion into the Raxio Data Center will help Uganda become a more competitive digital economy by establishing a regional hub for large-scale content and connectivity. He also dropped a significant announcement:

“I am proud to announce that Google will be the first network to connect to our service in Raxio. They will extend their global network from Mombasa to Kampala and distribute their traffic to other networks via the UIXP. This will significantly lower the cost of Google traffic for network operators in Uganda and inland East Africa.”

Present at the event was Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the acting Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), promised to support the peering community: “I look back on the journey of establishing the UIXP, which started many years (2001) in a tea meeting held on the terrace of Grand Imperial Hotel with persons from the existing internet service providers. Today, we celebrate the growth of the UIXP with a more diverse stakeholder composition and growth in traffic exchanged. We can, however, realise even higher levels of traffic exchanged locally if we recognise that we are all the UIXP and join hands to grow the local peering traffic. 100Gbps by next October Fest – let us all strive to make this a reality. As UCC we commit to continue to work with and support you all as the local community for the realisation of a thriving digital economy in Uganda”.

She also added: “With the new Google point of presence (in Kampala), all the online applications across government Ministries, Departments Agencies as well as the content or apps being developed across the private sector, this target should be easily achieved if this content is all stored locally rather than on foreign servers. Let local peering not be just an obligation.”

On her part, Allen Najjuuko, Sales Manager at Raxio Data Centre, stated: “More networks connected to the data centre means there are more options for internet connectivity and redundancy; this interconnectivity assists networks to save money by reducing connectivity costs, increase performance, promote efficiency and lower latency with faster, more direct data flow”.

Globally, the Data Center Interconnect (DCI) market is experiencing explosive growth as content, service and colo/hosting providers seek to connect global players to the local market.

During the event, guests networked and spoke about pressing issues, including the impact of COVID-19, new IXPs, new policy and regulation, licensing, new submarine cables, fibre cuts and other recent regional events & developments and their effects on the peering and interconnection scene in Uganda.

Peering typically produces a more direct path between two networks, reducing the distance that data has to travel. The result is lower latency and improved user experience. On the other hand, IP transit may route traffic through many different points between eyeball to content.

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