Quantifying the Effects of Circuitous Routes on the Latency of Intra-Africa Internet Traffic: A Study of Research and Education Networks

  • Josiah Chavula
  • Nick Feamster
  • Antoine Bagula
  • Hussein Suleman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 147)


Despite an increase in the number of Internet eXchange Points (IXP) in Africa, as well as proliferation of submarine and terrestrial fibre optic cable systems, the level of peering among Africa’s Internet service providers remains low. Using active network measurements, this work characterizes the level of interconnectivity and peering among Africa’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), and examines the performance of traffic exchange in terms of latencies. This paper shows that over 75 % of Africa’s inter-university traffic follows circuitous inter-continental routes, and is characterised by latencies that are more than double those of traffic exchanged within the continent.


Round-trip time Latency Peering Active topology measurements Internet exchange points National Research and Education Networks 



We are thankful to the Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) for their financial support towards this work.


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Copyright information

© Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josiah Chavula
    • 1
  • Nick Feamster
    • 3
  • Antoine Bagula
    • 2
  • Hussein Suleman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa
  3. 3.School of Computer ScienceGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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