Sarua-Fibre

Report
Sarua-Fibre project
Challenges involved in the establishment of an
academic broadband backbone in Southern and
East Africa
Supported by IDRC
Björn Pehrson <[email protected]>
KTH, Stockholm
A modest requirement
• Universities are key to all communities
wanting to keep up with the development
towards the global knowledge society
• African universities need the same
network connectivity as their peers on
other continents to fulfill their tasks
– Education, Research, Community Service
• All agree?
Sarua-Fibre Objectives
• Broadband Internet access for universities in
Southern and East Africa based on optical
fibre
• A parallel track to coordinated VSAT
procurement addressed in other projects
• Both are needed in a foreseeable future
• Even a sparse fibre infrastructure will bring
VSAT islands back to Africa from all other
continents
Goals 2008
• Gbps links rather than Kbps
• National Research and Education Networks
• Regional Backbone
Why NRENs?
• VSAT connections are vertical, fiber
connections are horizontal
• Save costs sharing the access network
• Share resources like caching servers,
supercomputers, a national grid
• Pool human and financial resources
• Increase your lobbying power
Why a regional Backbone
• Consortial procurement of Internet access
for all NRENs
• Transborder academic peering in Africa
• Global academic peering via Géant,
Internet2, Eumednet, TEIN, ALICE,...
It turns out there is fibre
not everywhere and not always possible to use
•
•
•
•
•
Policy and regulations in the way
Or lack of business models
Or market pricing, even higher than VSAT
Fibre-database sponsored by IDRC
More fibre is being rolled out as we speak,
in power grid extension programmes,
along railways and pipelines, etc.
Telecommunications Infrastructures of EDM
Optical Fiber – Geographic location
•
The fiber is installed in
the Southern part of the
country
•
New lines must include a
fiber by “default”
•
There is a proposal for a
fiber on Mozambique –
Malawi interconnection
Tanzania
Facilitator#1 is political will
Talk to politicians in terms of deliverables
• Cf Rwanda
– National fibre infrastructure
– Internet Exchange
– All schools being wired
• Other early birds: .mz, .mw, .zm, .tz........
• Open to others to join when they are ready
The messages
• Universities can contribute to a dynamic
development of society, in all sectors, if
– They get broadband
– Soon also access dark fibre to build highperformance, non-commercial private networks for
research and education
• Universities, as public organisations benefitting
all parts of society, should get access to public
goods, such as infrastructure (ducts, fibre)
Facilitator#2 is the regulatory
framework
Work with the regulators to clarify and push the limits
• Universities should be allowed to build and
operate non-commercial private networks
with domestic and transborder traffic.
• Publicly owned fiber infrastructure should
be licensed or leased, similar to radio
spectrum, but unlimited.
Status: Existing NRENs
• South Africa:
– SANREN (planned)
– TENET (procurement consortium)
• Kenya KENET
– Holds a license for international traffic
• Tanzania: TENET
– Tanesco, Tazara, TRC, Songas, TTCL
NRENs in progress
have/will get licenses, negotiate dark fibre
• Mocambique: MoRENet
– Maputo - Inhambane – Beira - NampulaQuelimane - Pemba (TDM, EDM)
• Malawi
– Blantyre-Lilongwe,Mzuzu, Zomba (ESCOM, MTL)
• Zambia
– UNZA, Lusaka - CBU, Kitwe. (ZESCO, CEC)
• Rwanda
– NUR, Butare – KIST, Kigali
• Uganda
Blantyre campuses
Status: Regional Backbone
• Available routes
– SAT3
– SAFE
– Terrestrial
• SA-Namibia-Zambia-Tanzania->
• DRC-Zambia-Zimbabwe
– EASSy, including access networks
• Internet access/global peering in the Red Sea
• Managed by a regional organization (DANTA?)
2008 is the year when it all comes
together, if not before
Universities can support the
establishment of sustainable
broadband markets
• Academia can host neutral, non-commercial,
pre-competitive pilots
• Public sector can provide critical mass and take
infrastructure investments
– Traffic from
• Public administration
• Education
• Healthcare
provides 20-40% of all traffic in developed markets and the
proportion is even more in developing markets
• Then, private sector and civil society will add to
the sustainability of business models

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