Foundation Stone of NAPWACI – all systems go for Network Access Point West Africa-Canary Islands
February 19th, 2010 | Tenerife
Key element of ALiX telecommunications project
The laying of the foundation stone of the data centre Napwaci is an essential element of the ALiX, Project, which the Cabildo is backing to improve Tenerifeâ€™s competitive edge by developing Information and Communications Technology (ITC) infrastructure and increasing the islandâ€™s internal and external connectivity. The NAPWACI will serve as a point of concentration and distribution for this connectivity plus the infrastructure for a data centre for ITC companies interested in competing on international markets or trading with West Africa from a European Union territorial base.
A high availability data centre such as the NAPWACI is made up of a set of hi-tech infrastructures – building, electronic systems, air conditioning, security etc.- designed to house the electronic systems that ITC companies need to carry out all or part of their commercial activities with the highest environmental guarantees for electricity supply, security and resistance to adverse weather phenomenon.
The NAPWACI data centre is currently under construction at the site of the Cabildoâ€™s Instituto TecnolÃ³gico y de EnergÃas Renovables (ITER) in the municipality of Granadilla. Its location, adjacent to the Parque CientÃfico y TecnolÃ³gico, will be vital as a mooring port for submarine cables due to its proximity to the coast and it will also serve as a satellite tele port due to its south facing position and latitude. The site also boasts a large variety of available energy sources both conventional as well as wind and solar power.
The first building stage of the NAPWACI will feature a photovoltaic plant of 400kW, which will cover the entire roof. The buildingâ€™s design not only meets the strictest efficiency and modular requirements but it also maximises the efficiency of the solar energy plant on the roof because it has been designed with optimum orientation and gradient for photovoltaic energy production.
The building will be constructed in modules, each having a capacity of up to 1,500 sq metres cuadrados of ITC technical romos and 1,200 sq metres of multi purpose space which can be adapted according to demand to house both the electronic equipment of the different Â telecommunications operators and technical staff of the companies based at the NAP (NAP stands for Neutral Network Access Point).
NAPWACI is much more than a high availability data centre. Because it is a totally neutral infrastructure open to any telecommunications operator, it is attractive as a site for Â interconnecting the trunk infrastructures of international telecommunications companies â€“submarines cables, satellite-, Â to interconnect their networks and free exchange traffic with each other without having to depend on intermediaries.
The setting up of a point for free exchange of telecommunications traffic in Tenerife will not only benefit the Island and the rest of the Canaries but also the countries on the West African coast because it will reduce the costs for connectivity as it will permit a more efficient channelling of telecommunications traffic, principally on the routes between developing West African and Latin American countries. On the other hand, the presence of a brand new access point where data exchange will be free and neutral will introduce an additional factor for the liberalisation of the telecommunications market in West Africa. This in turn will improve the connectivity situation and help the region to develop.
In order to act more efficiently as a point for free exchange of traffic, as a neutral access point the NAPWACI will house different submarine cable stations. One of them is Â Canalink, an initiative of the firm IslaLink and the Instituto TecnolÃ³gico de Telecomunicaciones de Tenerife (IT3) to develop a system of submarine cables which will increase the competitive conditions of the submarine telecommunications between Tenerife and mainland Spain as well as between Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma. To cover the demand in the short term, African and Latin American cables will be set up as well as satellite operators currently operating over Africa.
Eventually NAPWACI will be connected to the rest of the Island through the insular ring of de fibre optics which the Cabildo de Tenerife is developing in an open access system for all telecommunications operators so that companies and homes on Tenerife will be able to benefit from better connectivity (telephone, internet etc.) around the island thanks to the NAP.
The NAPWACI is scheduled to be operative in the first quarter of Â 2011, the year in which the new telecommunications infrastructures are due to start and this will greatly increase Tenerifeâ€™s connectivity with the rest of the world.