Quoting an update we received from the registry today:
ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR) is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 14:58:59 CAT the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the .africa geographic Top Level Domain Name (gTLD) in the root. The delegation comes after a lengthy and protracted legal challenge that saw a delay in the delegation process.
This essentially means that the Launch Phases of Sunrise, Landrush and finally, General Availability of the .africa domain is now possible. The tentative date for the Sunrise and Landrush Phases is 4 April 2017. The Sunrise Phase will see intellectual property rights holders and, the Landrush Phase will see premium name applicants applying for .Africa domains from this date. General Availability should commence on 4 July 2017, this is when the general public can apply for their .africa domain names.
Web4Africa now accepts Apple Pay as a means of payment for all services offered, including Domain Name Registration, Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers etc.
Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc. that lets users make payments using the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, and later, Apple Watch-compatible devices (iPhone 5 and later models), iPad Air 2, iPad Pro and iPad Mini 3 and later and Mac.
Apple Pay is currently compatible with certain Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards issued in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, and Spain.
Web4Africa, a leading web hosting company, announces the launch of The Nigerian Mirror Project, a first of its type in the West African sub-region.
The Nigerian Mirror Project, which is physically hosted in Nigeria and reachable at mirror.ng, aims to drastically improve the download and availability of free & open-source software in Nigeria.
Access to bandwidth in Nigeria is expensive compared to most parts of the world and a major contributing factor is the high cost of international transit. This is due in part to the fact that most of the content consumed by Nigerian Internet users is generated outside the country making most bandwidth access essentially international. Web4Africa’s aim is to reduce the high cost by bringing free and open-source content closer to end-users in Nigeria.
Another benefit of this project is low latency. By bringing the content closer to the user, as we are doing in the case of the Nigerian Mirror project, the user experience is greatly enhanced with faster downloads.
Developers using open-source programming languages and users of Linux Operating Systems in Nigeria are among the direct beneficiaries of this project, provided their Internet Service Provider peers openly at the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).
The mirror is presently hosting the full repositories of Ubuntu and CentOS (both Linux Operating Systems), as a well as Python Package Index (a programming language), in Nigeria. The project has official recognition from CentOS and Ubuntu respectively as it has already been integrated into their official distribution network.
Suggestions regarding which other Operating Systems and open-source software to mirror in Nigeria are currently being taken via email to admin (at) mirror (dot) ng
“We, at IXPN, are delighted by this initiative from Web4Africa to localize popular open-source content. It is the first of its kind in Nigeria. We commend them in their effort toward local Internet data hosting, which is the best way to drop the cost of Internet access while improving user experience. IXPN totally aligns with the Nigeria Mirror Project and we call on other organizations to emulate this kind of project, so as to build a better Internet ecosystem for our country,” says the Managing Director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudman.
“This project, in addition to the immense benefits it brings to the Internet ecosystem in Nigeria, is one of our ways to give back to the local Internet community and is only a first step,” says Oluniyi Ajao, Managing Director of Web4Africa.
Web4Africa, a leading pan-African web hosting company, today announces the launch of Africa’s first cPanel FastUpdate server.
The server enables cPanel servers within Web4Africa’s network and others in the Southern Africa region to download cPanel installations and updates at very fast speeds.
cPanel describes the system as follows:
The FastUpdate Cache system serves as an on-demand cache for your servers. This system accepts update requests from cPanel & WHM
servers and provides them with the most recent software versions. The FastUpdate Cache system allows you to speed up new feature
installations for your cPanel & WHM servers.
The new cPanel FastUpdate server brings the current number to 48, around the world.
Web4Africa is proudly an official cPanel Licence Partner and offers shared Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Servers to clients worldwide.
Some 250 million people live in any one of the 15 countries in West Africa. Millions of people already own and use a device that is connected the Internet.
While Windows Operating System (OS) dominates the regional market, variants of Linux desktop OS distributions are steadily making way into the sub-region, especially among students and young software Developers. Also, a lot of enterprise servers run Linux server operating systems. In essence, Linux is widely used, in various forms. Android, that ubiquitous OS that powers hundreds of millions of smartphones is based on Linux as is Apple’s MacOS.
However, there hasn’t been a locally hosted Linux mirror in Nigeria. PCs and servers running Linux have thus routinely had to connect to European and North American mirrors at high cost, high latency and limited speed. The rapid deployment of sub-marine fibre cable to the shores of West Africa have largely reduced bandwidth cost and thus reduced some of the challenges with downloading from foreign servers. However, downloading from a local server is hard to beat in terms of latency, reliability and speed.
This is because there is only so far one can go before the law of physics kick-in. Internet traffic to/from West Africa is mostly via Fibre. Fibre relies on Light. Light signals traveling at very high speed. The geographic distance along the coast of West Africa from say Lagos to London, imposes limits on how fast IP packets can move back-and-forth, thus the latency. This is further compounded by the numerous network equipment a data packet transverses as it moves from your PC or server to the download server at the other end of the world.
Web4Africa’s Linux mirror server side-steps all of these challenges since our network peers locally in Nigeria. Users of Internet Service Providers that actively peer locally would enjoy very speedy and unimpeded downloads from our servers as we have a robust and direct network access. There should thus be no bottle-necks unless perhaps there are challenges at the last-mile end of the ISP.
The principle of local hosting that our Local Linux mirrors benefit from, apply to our local web hosting services as well.
We plan to eventually host every Linux distro we offer on our VPS Hosting platform. However, suggestions are welcome regarding what could be hosted in the mirror.
Are you a developer or Linux user in Nigeria? What would you like mirrored in Nigeria?
Web4Africa has been working on a local mirror for linux distributions and important software/modules/scripts.
The mission is to make the most popular open-source Operating Systems and software available locally, starting from Nigeria. Users in Nigeria would be able to benefit from very speedy downloads provided their ISP is peering locally.
We currently host CentOS, Ubuntu and pypi in Nigeria. The CSR project details would be made public very soon.
For now, your suggestions would be appreciated and considered for adding to the existing repository. You are welcome to share these in the comments section below.
.blog is coming, and it’s going to be totally HUUUUUGGGEEEE. It’s going to be fantastic. You’re gonna love it! 😉
If you would like to obtain your .blog domain at the beginning of the .blog Sunrise, promote it and use it as a primary domain, let us know. Email sales (at) web4africa (dot) net before Thursday, August 11th with a brief description of how you intend to use your .blog domain and we will forward it to the .blog registry for their consideration towards the .blog founders’ program.
Web4Africa is offering a limited-time 60% discount off the Web Hosting in Nigeria plans. Offer closes on Monday. Click on the banner below, to enjoy the one-off offer now.
Nigeria is an emerging economy of over 170 million people and a leader in business and information technology, on the African continent. The country needs to develop despite its challenges. The local hosting industry needs to grow and blossom.
It is well documented that electricity generation and distribution is a perennial challenge in Nigeria.
Web Hosting servers on the other hand need power. Lots of it. A good web hosting service would be online 24 hours every day of the year. For this to be possible, power supply has to be reliable. It has to be very reliable.
Web4Africa’s hosting presence in Nigeria is located in a Tier-III award-winning world-class datacentre. The datacentre operates 100% off the national power grid. A chain of technical redundancy in their power supply setup guarantees an uninterrupted supply of power to our servers and network equipment. There are also layers of monitoring systems to reduce the chances of power disruption. All fuel supplies for the power generating plants are tested and only ones that meet their stringent quality standards are accepted. Scheduled and routine maintenance of all power equipment are vigorously followed. Also, the datacentre supplies power to our rack via two independent feeds.
On our part, all our servers have redundant power units and tap from the independent power feeds supplied by the datacentre. Some equipment without dual-power units are powered through an automatic transfer switch. Thus, the chain of power redundancy and reliability is complete.
While all of these come at a premium, the benefits of local hosting far outweighs the initial cost and at the right scale, the cost becomes more accessible to all.
Web4Africa had commissioned some web hosting equipment in a Tier-III datacentre in Lagos Nigeria a few months ago. We own and manage our network infrastructure and are peering locally at the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN). This gives us direct IP connectivity to the networks of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Carriers that are peering locally in Nigeria.
Local hosting is critical for any country that wants to develop its internet infrastructure. An Internet Exchange is therefore pivotal to local content development and hosting. This is the role the IXPN plays. Two key technical benefits of local hosting are ultra-low latency and high speed connectivity to the local hosting servers.
Our 1Gbps connectivity to the IXPN meant we could test local Internet traffic flows and performance.
This article brings the potential network performance to fore. This is in no way an endorsement nor a critique or any particular ISP but an objective analysis of the potential speed offered by local web hosting. The tests were conducted in the early hours of the morning. Thus, performance during peak business hours could be slightly varied.
The speed tests below were done using Ookla’s ubiquitous Speedtest.net tool from one of our servers in Nigeria. Only Nigerian networks that are part of Speedtest.net and actively peering in Nigeria are highlighted below:
How does this apply to an Internet user in Nigeria?
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