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Internet Development in Africa: A Content Use, Hosting and Distribution Perspective

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 275)

Abstract

Although a considerable investment in broadband infrastructure has improved broadband speeds across many African countries, the reliability and performance that users ultimately receive is determined also by the interconnection between networks and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and by where the content, services and applications are hosted. Often, high latencies to remote destinations introduce significant performance bottlenecks, suggesting that, in addition to investments in higher throughput links, effort should be devoted to improving interconnection between ISPs and locating content closer to the users. By untangling the complexity of content access, use, hosting and distribution in Africa, this study offers three main contributions. First, it discusses challenges related to usage, hosting, distribution of local content and services in Africa, by developing a case on African local news websites. Second, it makes publicly available measurement data and indicators for local content use, hosting, and distribution across all African countries. And third, it provides points of policy recommendations on how to improve internet access and use, and infrastructure performance from a content perspective.

Keywords

Local content Web hosting Latency Peering Content infrastructure 

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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research ICT AfricaCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.AFRINICEbeneMauritius

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