After one year of joint operations, Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) and the Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK) have terminated the agreement for operations at the Mombasa Internet Exchange, a Point of Presence (POP) based at the SEACOM landing station.
The decision to terminate the agreement was reached after the POP failed to attract more users to exchange content, commonly known as peers. Google, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is currently peering in Mombasa, exchanging content with three other Kenyan networks.
“Since the exchange point went live in mid 2014 it has proved difficult to attract parties to participate in the exchange. This has led to the difficult decision to close the East Africa Exchange Point as of June 1st. This doesn’t mean that the development of the Internet infrastructure in East Africa has reached a standstill,” said a statement posted on AMS-IX website.
In response, TESPOK sent out a statement saying it had launched the Mombasa Internet Exchange Point in August 2009 at the SEACOM Landing station. The partnership with AMSIX was to support the growth of the already existing POP in Mombasa and add value to the region.
“This partnership has seen the location attract several international operators and at the same time brought to the fore some of the challenges of the set up in Mombasa,” said Fiona Asonga, TESPOK CEO.
In the statement, Asonga blamed the failure of the partnership on the challenges of set up in Mombasa, such as; lack of appropriate local government support for ICT infrastructure investment, absence of carrier neutral data centers in the region and the costs of transit between Nairobi and Mombasa to facilitate peering at both the Nairobi and Mombasa locations.
“TESPOK is determined and will continue to run Mombasa Internet Exchange Point as it had began in 2009 and with the standards it has used to operate the Nairobi Kenya Internet Exchange Point POPs since 2002,” added Asonga.
On its part, AMS-IX promised to continue supporting peering and interconnection in Africa through forums such as Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) through sharing of knowledge and experience, and the provisioning of equipment to developing Internet exchanges.