DE-CIX, the leading global Internet Exchange (IX) operator, has partnered with the NGO 'Internet pour tous' and UNITED SA, an Internet connectivity and web hosting provider based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to announce the launch of ACIX (Africa Congo Internet Exchange).
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ACIX, the first regional interconnection hub in Africa, will be hosted by UNITED and managed by 'Internet pour tous'. The launch ceremony took place on May 22, with ACIX already onboarding the first eleven networks.
Objectives and Connectivity Benefits
DE-CIX said the establishment of ACIX aims to provide advanced interconnection services and free connectivity to educational institutions in the DRC. The neutral IX will facilitate local data exchange and foster a thriving ecosystem within the region.
By interconnecting networks from neighbouring countries, ACIX aims to become a major hub for regional interconnection in Africa. The exchange benefits from direct connectivity to Lisbon, enabling connected networks to access DE-CIX's extensive cloud and interconnection ecosystem in Southern Europe.
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DE-CIX's Role and DaaS Program
DE-CIX will operate ACIX on behalf of 'Internet pour tous' as part of its DE-CIX-as-a-Service (DaaS) program. The DaaS program offers a range of services, including installation, maintenance, provisioning, and marketing and sales support, allowing data centre operators and other third parties to create their own fully operated Internet Exchange and interconnection platform in collaboration with DE-CIX, according to the statement.
Enhancing Internet Connectivity in the DRC and Africa
With the DRC experiencing a growing digital ecosystem and internet usage expanding by nearly 30 percent annually, ACIX aims to address the market's underserved nature due to high connectivity costs and limited interconnection services. ACIX will enable networks to exchange data locally, fostering a stronger local ecosystem.
By aggregating African networks that are currently fragmented across neighbouring countries, ACIX will create digital opportunities and boost the emerging digital economy in the DRC, providing improved performance, user experience, and affordable internet access for businesses and individuals.
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Strategic Location and Connectivity Corridor
Kinshasa, situated between the two most densely populated regions of Africa, serves as the strategic location for ACIX. It acts as a gateway to Africa, bridging the neighbouring countries from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.
DE-CIX said by reducing latency and improving data exchange capabilities, ACIX establishes a connectivity corridor across equatorial Africa, enabling networks to exchange data and host content more efficiently, benefiting users in the region.