By Nnamdi Ojiego
Nigerians have not fully benefited from the internet services in the country. This is because, the country entirely depended on international connections for regional and local communications.
This no doubt, has resulted to capital flight due to the huge amount of money paid to international carriers; outages which affect everyone and everything and hinders local content development.
However, hope came following the World Summit on the Information Society, WSIS, in 2005 when the then president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo directed the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications to establish an Internet Exchange Point, IXP, in Nigeria. In March 2007, Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, inaugurated an interim board of Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria.
An Internet exchange point (IX or IXP), according to Muhammed Rudman, Managing Director of IXPN, is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks.
An IXP interconnects Internet service providers (ISPs), in a region or country, allowing them to exchange domestic Internet traffic locally without having to send those messages across multiple international hops to reach their destinations.
Mr Rudman said the creation of IXPN has created numerous opportunities for all Nigerians. â€œ IXPs haveÂ considerable multiplier effect on the economyÂ by enabling e-applications, reduces foreign exchange /capital flight, customers pay less for Internet access, thereby allowing more people to sign up for more products, services, and activities, money stays in local economy and use to provide better local infrastructure and services for customers, enhance local connectivity and improve internet experience of end users; and the creation of new revenue opportunities for the country.â€
Speaking further, the IXPN Managing Director revealed that IXPN enabled new applications such as Web hosting, IP Radio, IPTV, Video conferencing, Free email, Internet banking, Internet payment, E-Government, Internet Gaming, Telemedicine, Security & surveillance,Mapping,VOIP, E-Commerce, among others.
Mr Rudman however, called for the collaboration with non governmental organisations to connect all higher educational institutions in Lagos to the exchange point towards the establishment of National Research and Education Network, NREN.