By Cyril Okoye
EFFORTS to keep local Internet traffic in the country received a boost at the weekend in Abuja when the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, declared that his administration will increase the support given by the Commission to the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, IXPN, to ensure its tangible success.
Dr. Juwah who spoke during the presentation of the status report of the organization to the Commission by its board and management, led by its Chairman, Mr. Chima Onyekwere, said the key roles being played by this private public partnership is critical to Nigeria’s emancipation in the global Internet arena.
He therefore stated that the Commission will improve on its funding of the organization to ensure that the objectives of keeping the local Internet traffic localized within the country is fully realized. The NCC boss also advised the board and management of the company (limited by guarantee) to ensure it entrenches an attractive business proposition and good corporate that will attract the participation of all the key operators in the industry, and ensure delivery on its mandate.
IXPN which commenced operations with initial funding from the Commission was formed to interconnect all Internet Service Providers, Private Telecom Operators, and higher institutions in Nigeria was set up to ensure that Internet users in Nigeria do not have to hit the global Internet resource outside of the country on the touch of the button when each nation has developed exchange points to reduce cost of intercontinental Internet traffic and also enable additional applications within the country.
Chairman of the Company, Mr. Chima Onyekwere, informed the NCC management that 22 Internet Service Providers, ISPs, including the two of the big GSM operators, MTN and Zain, have connected to the Internet Exchange of IXPN located in Lagos.
Mr. Onyekwere also said that IXPN has also received support from Nigeria Information Development Agency, NITDA, to set up additional exchange points in Abuja and Kano while efforts have reached advanced stage for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to fund several exchange points that will interconnect financial institutions across the country.
Managing Director/CEO of IXPN, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, listed some of the current initiatives of the company to include the successful launch of the Lagos Higher Education Connectivity Project (Eko Konnect) initiated by the University of Lagos in partnership with IXPN and Datasphere Solutions.
The aim of this project, he said, is to facilitate and support connectivity between all higher institutions in Lagos including the universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and research institutions.
Our strategy is to position us as the center of gravity to all the HEIs in Nigeria and thereby giving us the opportunity to be the hub for West and Central African Research Educational Network in the near future”, he said.
Mr. Rudman also said that IXPN has activated CommunityDNS, the first in West Africa. CommunityDNS hosts 353 top and second tier level domains for ccTLD operators which are about 12.8 Million names which mean the localization of critical Internet resource within the country.