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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

AfriSIPA names BigDish regional carrier

Remmy Nweke

Mauritius-based satellite provider BigDish has been selected as the third carrier for the African Internet Service Providers Association (AfrISPA).

Disclosing this, Secretary General and General Manager of AfrISPA, Messrs Eric Osiakwan and Brian Longwe, informed that the choice of BigDish was in response to its request for service for data transportation between different ISP members of local Internet Exchange Points on the continent.

Big Dish Limited, Mr. Osiakwan said, is a new satellite provider incorporated in Mauritius, which has since joined the other two hitherto selected after a successful bidding process to provide an African Regional Internet Traffic solution.

He also said that the peering point design could be extended to allow additional Internet Exchanges to join the network with ease at any time in the future.

According to him, AfrISPA wanted to establish true inter-country connectivity within the continent so as to remove to remove the current dependence on overseas carriers, to promote the establishment and growth of African regional data carriers.

Explaining further, he said, the establishment of a network of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) within Africa would also result in reduced costs, improved speeds and the improvement of the Internet backbone on the continent as a whole.

He pointed out that Big Dish has implemented a project that will revolutionise Internet access in Africa by breaking the current hypothesis of interconnection charges.

This, he said, could be achieved by buying substantial amounts of bandwidth where it is inexpensive, and delivering same via leased teleport and bulk space segment.

“This yields the capacity to deliver bandwidth via five satellites to any corner of Africa, using the Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) and proprietary modems,” he declared.

Osiakwan equally informed that the deal with BigDish would assist ISPs on the continent in reducing the current high interconnection charges, even as Big Dish network becomes a regional transit and interconnection provider.

He pointed out that the project is being used to easily realize the dream of establishing a Pan African Virtual Internet Exchange (PAVIX) by selling transit at each IXP and offering interconnection between all African IXPs.

For the chief executive of Big Dish, Mr. Matthew Rudd, his firm intends to leverage on its inexpensive bandwidth to boost capabilities and thousands of square feet of rack space into a Point to Multipoint configuration.

“We can connect every national IXP to each other, and thus exceed the requirements of the original RFS,” he assured.

AfrISPA is a continental body of ISP associations with its objectives including to promote development of key Internet infrastructure on the continent.

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