IMDEA Networks Institute Publications Repository

Which Infrastructure for a better Internet in Africa ?

Fanou, Roderick (2014) Which Infrastructure for a better Internet in Africa ? In: Dagstuhl Seminar 14471: Towards an Affordable Internet Access for Everyone: The Quest for Enabling Universal Service Commitment, 16–21 November 2014 , Dagstuhl, Germany.

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Reasons for low penetration and low quality of Internet access in Africa are numerous: high Internet access costs inherent to energy instability, transit costs, network operation costs, lack of infrastructure in rural areas, lack of content in Africa, as well as the preference of users for popular Google, Facebook or Youtube content mostly hosted outside Africa which lead to a constant loop (no local content no peering, no peering no local content). We review approaches to tackle this problem. We suggest a better energy provision to the industry (by Africans governments or private companies) which could be boosted by competition in this sector, an orientation of electrification politics towards solar energy storage and furniture, renewable energy, gas and nuclear centrals, as well as the establishment of a climate of fairness and cooperation/partnership by the regulations in the telecoms market. Most importantly, ISPs could increase peering to save on transit costs. They could also implement traffic engineering and efficient routing to keep local traffic local. Meanwhile, ISPs should invest in terrestrial optical fiber networks deployment or alternative technologies for the middle mile in order to reach more customers. Creation, development of local content and web content hosting should also be encouraged. Considerable efforts are currently being done on the continent to achieve these objectives but they need to be multiplied, as Africa is massive.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Papers (Invited Talk)
Additional Information: 27 participants were invited to this seminar and the full report has been edited by Crowcroft et al., published as part of the periodical Dagstuhl Reports (see and is available at
Depositing User: Roderick Fanou
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 12:07
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2015 10:24

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