Proving Gig Speed

Mark Tinka mark.tinka at
Fri Jul 20 07:45:21 UTC 2018

On 19/Jul/18 17:29, Eric Kuhnke wrote:

> Mark already knows this, but for the benefit of the North American network
> operators on the list, **where** in Africa makes a huge difference. Certain
> submarine cables reach certain coastal cities at very different transport
> prices, depending on location, what sort of organizational structure of
> cable it is, age of cable, etc.
> For example Sierra Leone and Liberia are logically network stubs, suburbs
> of London, UK. To the best of my knowledge the ISPs and mobile network
> operators there greatly prefer buying transport capacity to reach London
> rather than the other direction to Accra and Lagos. I do not know of any SL
> or LR ISPs which have small POPs with IP edge routers in Accra or Lagos,
> and definitely not in Cape Town. Whatever circuits exist for voice traffic
> that go to Lagos are much smaller.
You're right, Eric.

Unfortunately, West Africa, at the moment, even with the number of
submarine cables available in the region, is lagging behind Eastern &
Southern Africa, particularly since 2009.

There are a number of reasons for this, but fundamentally, there is a
lot more progressiveness around openness and diversification of
infrastructure deployment, operation and regional regulatory synergies
that the East & South have done better than the West.

Which is not to say that there isn't work going on in West Africa...
there certainly is. It's just taking a little longer than it ought to.

In my region, for example (which covers East & South), we are working
extra hard to de-legitimise Europe as a clearing house for our traffic,
and also, as a source for off-continent traffic. We are fortunate to
have a number of global actors participating in this transition, and
with it, a whole eco system is coming alive.

West Africa need to consider their own methods of attaining this goal,
so they do not look like suburbs of London from a connectivity
standpoint, sooner rather than later. To their benefit, there a couple
of things going on that may very well accelerate this.


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