By Mark Tinka, Head of Engineering – SEACOM
The 9th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) will take place from 21 to 23 August 2018 in Cape Town. SEACOM has been a platinum sponsor since 2012, supporting the event with Internet connectivity, and is looking forward to playing this role again. The SEACOM team welcomes the opportunity to learn and develop, and to interact with like-minded individuals all working toward a greater goal. The AfPIF event allows us a space to do just that. It addresses the key interconnection, peering, and traffic exchange opportunities and challenges that our continent faces. This, in turn, provides attendees with both global and regional insights that will help grow Internet infrastructure and services in Africa.
SEACOM launched Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the eastern and southern coastlines in 2009, bringing with it a vast supply of high quality and affordable Internet bandwidth. In 2011, SEACOM began offering IP/MPLS services to customers within and outside Africa. Since then, the business has grown significantly in key markets around Africa and Europe.
Today, SEACOM is the number one African-based service provider in the IP Transit market, both in terms of status and growth rate, as documented by Dyn, an Internet performance management company. This reflects the investment and effort the business has put into developing its IP/MPLS network, as well as the effective, affordable delivery of related services to its customers.
In addition, SEACOM has launched a connectivity services offering to the Enterprise Market in South Africa and Kenya – with a growth rate that has far surpassed the original targets set for the business in 2015. The SEACOM team has found that there is a great deal of pent-up demand in the business market for high-speed fibre Internet access at an affordable cost. SEACOM already has more than 170 channel partners serving its chosen markets, and are adding more than 100 direct customers on a monthly basis.
The services which SEACOM provides are what makes SEACOM’s sponsorship of the AfPIF so significant. The objectives of the forum align with those of the company – affordable, reliable, fast connectivity that can launch Africa into a new phase of economic development. Through this annual event, SEACOM is able to demonstrate its commitment to technical capacity building in less-developed regions, show its support for extending participation in the IETF to developing countries, and build contacts with technologists and regional leaders who share SEACOM’s passion for improved connectivity in the region. SEACOM looks forward to the potential of this year’s forum in transforming underserved African markets, and the future growth opportunities it may bring.