7 Questions with John Melick

John Melick, co-founder and chairman of Djibouti Data Center, discusses telecommunications industry trends around the globe.July 24, 2018

Talking Industry Trends with Djibouti Data Center’s Cofounder and Chairman

John Melick is Cofounder and Chairman of the award winning Djibouti Data Center (DDC).  The DDC is a privately held company, which launched commercial operations in Djibouti in 2013.   The DDC is the only Tier 3 standard, carrier-neutral data center in east Africa with direct access to all major international and regional fiber optic cable systems connecting Europe, the Middle East, and Asia markets with Africa.   The DDC serves as a strategic hub in the region for global and regional network operators, ISPs, MNOs, CDNs, and large content providers who are rapidly expanding services to many of the fastest growing and emerging markets in Africa.  In 2016, the DDC launched the Djibouti Internet Exchange (DjIX), a neutral and independent IXP in Africa, collocated in the DDC ecosystem.  The DjIX offers high speed, reliable, and resilient service to peering partners who are striving to reduce network latency and costs for Internet users in Africa. 

  1. What is driving the requirements for more international and regional fiber cable capacity and corresponding data center growth in Africa?

The global Internet is growing at an exponential rate, bringing with it new ways of communicating, transacting business, socializing, and transforming just about every aspect of daily social and economic life.  Yet, the benefits of the Internet have not always been evenly distributed. In Africa, despite a slow start, Internet use is now rapidly accelerating, and its transformative effects are increasingly accessible.

The Information Technology (IT) industry has been  one of the major drivers of economic growth in Africa, growing by 40% for the past ten years. In the past five years, submarine cables have brought a twenty-fold increase in international bandwidth.  Mobile subscriptions in Africa are expected to surpass 1 billion this year, and mobile broadband access accounts for more than 90% of Internet subscriptions.  The growth in IT and availability of Internet access is ushering in the rise in demand for data center services across Africa, largely due to the increase in demand for content, lower latencies, and cheaper Internet prices. Data centers are the primary source of collocation, and local and regional Internet Exchange Points are increasingly becoming available for peering to large content providers, ISPs, and others who aim to serve growing user communities in Africa.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 101 of the SubTel Forum magazine here on page 14.