The proposal hopes the EAIXP will address the problem of capital flight as communications providers are left to incur costs for international circuits outside East Africa.
Additionally, the inadequate connection between internet service providers (ISPs) and IXPs within the East African region has often resulted in the routing of local traffic over expensive international links to reach destinations within the East African region.
“The East African Communications Organisation (EACO) Congress approved the formation of the EAIXP taskforce to work on possible ways of interconnecting all National Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) installed in their countries. The objective is to keep regional traffic local within East Africa. The EACO members include Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda,” read part of the proposal.
Some of the benefits of interconnecting the East African IXPs include improving the quality of internet services within East Africa, including reliability, latency and packet loss.
Reduction of cost connectivity, reduction of data exposure to entities located in other regions by localising traffic and cyber security management are other benefits to the move.
That the project is going to be costly is no secret and towards this end EACO is proposing to partners with other organizations to cater for this cost.
Some of the proposed organisations include the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), EACO members, the Universal Access Fund, non-EACO members within the East African region and African Union Commission (AUC).
Development partners such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and USAID have also been proposed.