AfPIF Participation Helps Get the first Google Global Cache in Benin

By Vivien Assangbe Wotto

In 2010, African techies, ISPs, content, and infrastructure providers met in Nairobi, Kenya, for the inaugural African Peering and Interconnection Forum. This event was envisaged to be the forum where African in the tech sector exchange ideas and develop lasting solutions to some of the problems.

The ability to develop solutions became a reality for Vivien Assangbe Wotto, an Engineer in Telecoms and Networks Mobility at Benin Telecoms SA.  After participation last year,  Wotto was able to link up with the Google team,  and now Benin Telecom hosts the first Google Global Cache in the country.

Wotto shares his experience after the meeting.

What was the goal for attending AfPIF last year?

My goal for attending this forum was to better:

  • Know more about Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), interconnection and peering
  • Know its mode of operation, these benefits and see any opportunity for my company BENIN TELECOMS SA, and in particular for my country, Benin.
  • Know and make contact with the different operators of the IXP in Africa, the West African sub-region and the world.
  • Know what promotes the development of an interchange.

Admittedly, the development of local content is a major challenge that promotes the proper operation of the IXP.

The government allowed the implementation of an IXP, which will, operational by the end of July 2015. In Benin, we currently have five GSM operators and Internet service providers present at BENIN-IX, hosted at BENIN TELECOMS SA.

During the meeting in Senegal, I made contact with the Google Africa team, and initiated the procedure for installing Google Global Cache Servers (GGC).

Today it is a reality, since the servers of Google Cache are currently installed at the BENIN-IX, located in the offices of BENIN TELECOMS.

On the technical side, the experimental network BENIN-IX is set up and managed by a technical team composed of engineers from each operator or supplier present at the IXP. We had a lot of debate and exchange on how our IXP.

On decision level, the discussions helped me to understand the benefits of each member of an IXP, and the various models to be adopted for the sustainability of an exchange point.

Why attend AfPIF?

I go every year to:

  • Capitalize experiences
  • Share my experiences and to exchange among government policy makers, managers and technical team ISPs and IXPs.