Thursday 18 January 2024

Free 100Mbps Ports, New CDNs, and Infrastructure Upgrades

Message from the Executive DirectorProfile Picture of the Executive Director

2023 was a good year for the UIXP despite some significant challenges.

We started off facing three long-term CDN outages and reduced income due to low demand but finished with four live CDNs, two new peers, and a small surplus. Peak daily traffic increased from 10 Gbps to 45 Gbps while IPv6 adoption increased to 33% of connected networks.

Along the way we restored Google's remote peering link to Mombasa, successfully deployed a new Meta cache, and will soon enable a new Netflix cache in collaboration with Lyca Mobile. We also upgraded our back-end virtualization platform, implemented new cross-site functionality, and enhanced our data storage systems with N+1 redundancy. In addition, new security measures were implemented as part of ongoing efforts to improve physical and digital security.

On the sustainability front, our cash reserves remain untouched and we maintain good standing with URA despite the usual challenges. However, we observed a rise in account delinquencies among smaller networks which we attribute to challenging macroeconomic conditions. In response, we are working with stakeholders to promote progressive government interventions.

We are also working to implement a new open-source accounting system which would provide a number of benefits including improved accessibility and automation. As we progress, we may seek support for testing purposes.

Looking forward, we are thrilled to announce the introduction of free 100 Mbps ports at Raxio and Communications House. This was made possible by the growing utilization of 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, and 100 Gbps ports. In line with this, any networks that use 100 Mbps ports will no longer be charged while any networks that use free 10 Mbps ports will be upgraded automatically.

I encourage everyone to read the full report below for more details. As always, we are grateful for everyone's support and look forward to working together for the good of the Internet in 2024.

Kyle Spencer,
Executive Director

Free Ports & Raxio Discounts!

We are excited to announce that we now offer free 100 Mbps ports and note that Raxio customers can still access our service without any cross-connect charges.

We believe this move will facilitate growth and competition in our market without imposing any significant risk to our sustainability thanks to the growing utilization of 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, and 100 Gbps ports. Any networks that use 100 Mbps ports will no longer be charged while networks that use free 10 Mbps ports will be upgraded to 100 Mbps.

As a reminder, we also offer a 6-month 25% discount on all new services at Raxio. If you would like to connect, upgrade your port, or learn more about our services, please visit our website.

Utilization Report

  • We began 2023 with 32 connected networks but only ~10Gbps of peak traffic due to cascading CDN outages involving Google and Akamai (in addition to the ongoing Facebook ban which disabled their legacy cache in 2021).

  • Akamai's cache remains offline due to challenges related to IP transit. If anyone would like to donate IP transit for this cache, please contact us.
  • We helped Google stabilise their remote peering link to Mombasa following months of severe disruption. The successful restoration of their link provided significant benefits to our members and lowered the cost of delivering Google traffic within our catchment area. However, we understand that Google may withdraw remote peering links in the future due to a global policy change so we encourage everyone to prepare for this possibility.

  • Meta deployed a new cache at the UIXP within the Raxio data center. This was a fast and straightforward deployment thanks to Meta's full support for the project. This lowered the cost and improved the performance of traffic related to Meta's various services. Due to demand growth, we are already working with Meta to upgrade their capacity.

    UIXP Traffic Chart for 2023
  • We are in the final stages of deploying a Netflix cache in partnership with Lyca Mobile and hope to bring it online within the coming weeks. This project is somewhat experimental for Netflix since they typically deploy caches within ISPs and MNOs. Netflix's prefixes will be announced to the route servers by the UIXP's ASN [328998] when it goes live due to the nature of their cache's architecture. If you wish to establish a bilateral peering connection with our ASN, please contact us.
  • IPv6: 33% of all networks (10 out of 30) are peering with our route servers via IPv6. This reflects growing support in our market though most traffic is still exchanged via IPv4. We encourage all networks to transition to IPv6 and we are happy to provide support where possible. Click here for a live list of networks peering via IPv6 in Uganda.

Infrastructure Updates

  • We upgraded our server virtualization platform, implemented cross-site functionality, and upgraded our data storage systems with N+1 redundancy throughout. We also took steps to improve physical and digital security, though this is a continuous process and additional measures will be implemented in 2024.

  • We continue to maintain our facility at Communications House. Power, air-conditioning, and security systems are all operating well. Annual uptime exceeds 99.99%.
  • As a reminder, we send technical alerts about notable changes and foreseeable outages to the members-only mailing list. If your network is peering but is not a member and would like to be, please contact us at

Invoicing, Collections, and Taxes

  • We started the year with no surplus and depressed income due to three long-term CDN outages. Despite this, we ended the year with a small surplus and our cash reserves remain untouched.

  • In 2023 we observed a small but growing number of account delinquencies. We believe these delinquencies reflect increasingly difficult macroeconomic market conditions and we are working with various stakeholders to encourage government interventions that would relieve pressure on our industry. We are also doing our best to accommodate affected networks while balancing our need to maintain fairness and sustainability.

  • We are attempting to migrate to a new open-source accounting system and, as part of this, automate certain processes. We may contact some of you in the near future to request support for testing purposes.

  • We remain in good standing with URA despite the typical challenges of compliance.

Environmental Issues

  • The 2021 Facebook ban continues to suppress overall utilization of the Internet and our interconnection service. It continuously inflates the cost of Internet service delivery by forcing users and networks to import Facebook traffic from international sources rather than our local cache. This makes Uganda’s Internet more expensive and its market less attractive for regional interconnection & colocation relative to neighbouring countries.

  • We remain concerned by the increasingly high taxes levied on Internet services which now account for over 50% of the total cost of access. Like the Facebook ban, this makes the Internet more expensive and hinders demand for Uganda’s digital economy.

Community Engagement