Local Internet hosting is the key to developing the Internet ecosystem in Rwanda, revealed a report by Internet Society
The report notes that the focus for Rwandan policymakers, companies and content entrepreneurs should be on creating a positive enabling environment that would incentivise local hosting and service development and, thereby, offer content providers a local choice rather than imposing measures that artificially require local hosting.
According to the report, almost all of the commercial websites in Rwanda are hosted abroad. A small savings for the content providers in hosting it abroad results in significantly higher costs for the ISPs to access the content.
For one of the larger Rwandan websites that was examined, the content developer saved US$111 per year by hosting overseas while it cost the Rwandan ISPs approximately US$13,500 in transit costs to deliver the content from abroad to local users, added the report.
“The delay experienced by users in Rwanda to download a webpage is often five seconds or more. The cumulative effect of this can make the overall Internet experience frustrating and slow with a corresponding negative impact on usage. This can also limit the viability of interactive and data-intensive services such as gaming or video streaming,” stated the report.
Jean Philbert Nsengimana, minister of youth and ICT in Rwanda, 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.”
Internet Society is a non-profit organisation, which work towards Internet related standards, education and policy.