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Geographic Locations of Web Servers under African Domains

  • Katsuko T. Nakahira, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan
  • Tetsuya Hoshino, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan
  • Yoshiki Mikami, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan

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The ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) in a URL does not necessarily point to the geographic location of the server concerned. The authors have surveyed sample servers belonging to 60 ccTLDs in Africa, with regard to the number of hops required to reach the target site from Japan, the response time, and the NIC registration information of each domain. The survey has revealed the geographical distribution of server sites as well as their connection environments. It has been found that the percentage of offshore (out of home country) servers is as high as 80% and more than half of these are located in Europe. Offshore servers not only provide little benefit to the people of the country to which each ccTLD rightly belongs but their existence also heightens the risk of a country being unable to control them with its own policies and regulations. Offshore servers constitute a significant aspect of the digital divide problem.

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