Michael Kende, ISOC’s Chief Economist and co-author of the report
A new report released today by the Internet Society has revealed that almost all of the commercial websites in Rwanda are hosted abroad.
While content providers save some cost when theuy host their websites abroad, ISPs reportedly incur significantly higher costs to access the content.
“For one of the larger Rwandan websites that was examined, the content developer saved USD$111 per year by hosting overseas, while it cost the Rwandan ISPs approximately USD$13,500 in transit costs to deliver the content from abroad to local users. This impact is limited, however, because the websites hosted abroad suffer from high latency, which reduces usage,” the report stated.
Minister of Youth and ICT in Rwanda, Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, said: “The Rwandan Internet environment has seen impressive growth in recent years due to the commitment and involvement of a range of stakeholders, including an enterprising population and business community, dedicated technical community, and strong policy leadership throughout the Government of Rwanda.” Minister Nsengimana added, “This project has demonstrated how the Internet ecosystem in Rwanda, and other countries in a similar position, can work together to bolster the environment for local content hosting.”
While local content hosting is a key element for creating a vibrant local Internet economy, the report notes that the focus for policymakers, companies, and content entrepreneurs, should be on creating a positive enabling environment that will incentivise local hosting and service development and thereby offer content providers a local choice, rather than imposing measures that artificially require local hosting.