Broadband/Connectivity/Telcos News

Telecom Egypt and ICANN activate second ICANN managed root server

Installing the IMRS in Cairo will help enhance internet speed and flexibility across the country, and Africa as a whole, by enabling the response to DNS queries locally instead of abroad.

Telecom Egypt and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have inked an agreement and successfully activated the second ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) installation in Africa, now hosted in Cairo, Egypt.

Situated within Telecom Egypt’s Regional Data Hub (RDH), the country’s largest certified Tier III data center in the Smart Village Business District of west Cairo, the new IMRS installation marks a significant stride in bolstering Africa’s internet infrastructure. The RDH is intricately connected to a fully meshed network, granting access to 14 submarine cables, with plans to expand to 18 by 2025.

The decision to host the IMRS installation in Cairo carries substantial advantages for Egypt, including the enhancement of Internet user experience and a reduced vulnerability to cyberattacks leading to potential service disruptions. With IMRS installations now present in both Egypt and Kenya, critical capacity is added to support the burgeoning internet use across the African continent. This, in turn, is anticipated to fuel economic growth and create opportunities for potential internet users in Africa. The strategic placement of two IMRS cluster locations, coupled with increased bandwidth and data processing capabilities, significantly mitigates the risk of internet downtime due to cyberattacks.

Commenting on the deal, Mohamed Nasr, Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The new IMRS installation will ensure that Internet queries from Africa can be answered within the region, rather than relying on networks and servers in other parts of the world. The cluster will improve the user experience in Egypt and across the region, reducing latency and the time it takes for a website to load, especially during peak Internet usage periods. This will bring immediate benefits to Internet users not only in Egypt, but across the African continent. The new IMRS installation will also reduce the impact of a potential cyberattack on the continent or that of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattacks.

Sally Costerton, ICANN Interim President and CEO, commented: “The IMRS deployment in Cairo represents a significant advancement in enhancing Africa’s technical infrastructure. Egypt’s strategic position as a digital influencer in the region is of paramount importance. With this second IMRS installation in Africa, our commitment to the Coalition for Digital Africa project in the digital transformation in Africa remains unwavering. This achievement strengthens Internet infrastructure, not only in Egypt, but across the entire region.

“Before the IMRS installations in Africa, most of African Root Zone DNS queries were served by IMRS instances outside the continent. After the implementation of two IMRS installations, the distribution has shifted as most of the queries will be served inside Africa.”