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NAPAfrica peering helps build businesses

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Wireless ISP BreedeNet says its business providing high-speed Internet to rural areas has been boosted since it joined the 180-member-strong community at NAPAfrica, Africa’s largest Internet exchange (IXP), based at Teraco.
Coert Smit, network operations director at BreedeNet says that as a rural Wireless ISP the company is constantly striving to reduce costs and find creative ways to bring value to its clients.
“We are not situated in the metro areas and as a result bandwidth and Internet breakout is always extremely expensive. Our plan was to expand the business and noticed that a significant amount of traffic was actually local and the majority were connected at NAPAfrica.”
Smit says that, as a result, BreedeNet is now peering at NAPAfrica and has invested in building its core network infrastructure to get capacity to Teraco in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. “Our biggest issue was the cost of bandwidth and latency to local providers. We needed to provide clients with quality connectivity and as a result of peering at NAPAfrica; our clients can now connect directly to other ISP’s through a quick and easy peering platform.”
BreedeNet immediately peered its traffic through links in Cape Town and Johannesburg and Smit says it has been hugely successful. “Since peering at NAPAfrica we have 30% more capacity available on our upstream providers and breakouts. This is both a saving and return for BreedeNet.”
He says that the overall experience with NAPAfrica and Teraco was timely and professional. More importantly, BreedeNet has already gained a few cross-connections to other mutual service providers.
Michele McCann, business development manager at NAPAfrica, says that the IXP’s mandate is two-fold. “We want to open up and connect sub-Saharan Africa to the world and keep content local. We also want to grow a local ecosystem that benefits all our members,” she says. “Peering at NAPAfrica is not just about the immense costs savings and improved experience; it is also about being part of a community of providers that you can in turn do business with in a secure and highly connected environment.”
She says that BreedeNet is not only a great example of the benefits of peering, but also how NAPAfrica can assist and grow a local business, enabling it to extend its borders more easily and cost effectively.
Smit adds that as the demand for high speed, good quality Internet connections continues to grow, platforms like NAPAfrica will flourish. “By bringing content and services of all peers closer to the end clients and making it more affordable to small businesses, NAPAfrica will continue to be a significant role player throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”