Accra-IX: Meet Africa’s newest Internet Exchange Point (IXP)

To offer a more robust IP network interconnect in Ghana, a new Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has emerged in the PAIX data centre in Accra. The new IXP went live to traffic on 20th August 2023.

The Accra Internet Exchange (Accra-IX) is a Non-Profit organization aimed at building and growing the Internet ecosystem through colocation, peering and interconnection in Ghana. The Accra-IX was founded by a team of internet experts and digital entrepreneurs who understand and are well-versed in networking and interconnections.

The founding members of Accra-IX are:

  • WorkOnline Communications (an African IP carrier)
  • Ecoband (a leading enterprise ISP in Ghana)
  • Meta (owners of Facebook, Instagram, threads)
  • Paix (data centre operator in Ghana, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Asteroid (an IXP platform that powers some IXPs around the world)

Asteroid International B.V., a Dutch company, has a pedigree of managing IXPs and disrupting the market. The company owns or manages IXPs around the world, including:

  • Asteroid Mombasa (Kenya) – present in data centre
  • Asteroid Amsterdam (Netherlands) – present in 2 data centres
  • Asteroid Nairobi (Kenya) – building inside Africa Data Centre
  • MEX-IX McAllen (Texas, USA) – present in MDC Data Centers
  • until recently, WAF-IX inside MDXi data centre in Lagos was powered by Asteroid, but that IXP has since morphed into AMS-IX Lagos and is now powered by AMS-IX

The Accra-IX supports dual-stack connectivity on 1G, 10G, 100G ports and has already attracted the following networks from the respective countries:

  • Ecoband Ltd (Ghana)
  • Virtual Technologies & Solutions (Burkina Faso)
  • Vobiss Solutions (Ghana)
  • WorkOnline Communications (South Africa)
  • NetActuate, Inc (USA)
  • Web4Africa (South Africa)
  • Angola Cables (Angola)
  • E-Connecta Limited (Ghana)
  • SP Echo Ghana (Ghana)
  • Dimension Data Ghana (Ghana)
  • Spectrum Fibre Company Limited (Ghana)
  • G-Core Labs S.A. (Luxembourg)

The entry of Accra-IX brings the total number of IXPs in Ghana to two. Before now, the Ghana Internet Exchange Association (GIXA) had been the only player. Established by the Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA), GIXA is pushing about ± 80Gbps of traffic and is active in PAIX Accra and NITA data centres. GIXA has about 25 peers, mostly Ghanaian ISPs and international content providers like Google, Akamai and Fastly.

Accra-IX looks set to radically improve the internet ecosystem in Ghana, considering that it already has 12 networks in varying states of connection within two weeks of launch, with many more poised to join.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.

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