Seacom has been down for nearly two weeks, bringing the new found wealth of International bandwidth South Africans have been enjoying to an abrupt halt. This is not the first time Seacom has caused major Internet outages in South Africa, and if history is anything to go by it might not be the last either. Perhaps we need a back-up plan?
ISPs have been falling over one another to bring their users online, either by setting up proxies or buying access through the SAT3 cable. A simpler more cost effective solution has been around for years though, and as a nation who suffered under the era of being “capped” we more than anyone should know the value of locally hosted content.
Recently internet giants Facebook and Google invested heavily in hosting their data in South Africa. Google brought along all their products including Gmail and Youtube amongst others. These services are thus all accessible even though Seacom is down. Although ISPs have been sluggish in assigning the new routes.
But these services are just the tip of the iceberg, there are literally thousands of other sites that host in South Africa through Akamai or elsewhere that can be accessed. All these sites have been indexed over two years and been made available on http://www.locallist.co.za.
Local List is a project powered by ISLabs to catalog local websites, for users who run out of international bandwidth and has been around since 2008. The site can now be used whenever Seacom goes down, when you get capped or when you want to find sites based on proximity and response times. Local List has recently gotten a new design, and some nifty features like improved search powered by Google and geolocation features.
Check it out.