Why Internet Connection Is Very Slow In Africa
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However, if you are in Nairobi or Lagos, it takes ages to access your favorite website. It is not due to a bad local connection since the quality of Wi-Fi is rather excellent. Last June, David Weekly the product manager of Google looked at the loading speeds of various websites and he found out that Facebook and Google Kenya were reaching him from London. Apple was coming from Paris and Twitter all the way from Atlanta, Georgia.
Data moves fast but the problem is the time to travel great distances. Every time you click on a link to a web page, the devices sends a request that has to be routed to the server where the web page is hosted before that the data for the page is sent back to you. The server can be tens or hundreds or thousands of miles away.
Most of the websites that Africans visit are hosted overseas and they feel the latency gaps more often than users who are in London or San Francisco. A larger problem with overseas hosting is not actually speed but cost. According to figures from Nairobi-based startup Angani, a connection to Kenya Internet Exchange for one gigabit per second costs internet service providers (ISPs) $350 a month while a similar amount of data from an international submarine cable will cost a staggering $200,000. Even if a user pays the ISP for a fast internet connection in Kenya, data flow will be much slower when it comes from overseas.
Internet connections have been improved in Africa but unfortunately hosting infrastructures have not kept pace. Africa loses the benefits of having in-country delivery infrastructure because there is no reliable hosting infrastructure.