An Internet exchange point (IX or IXP) is a physical infrastructure that allows different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to exchange Internet traffic between their networks, which in effect must be autonomous systems by means of mutual peering agreements, which allow traffic to be exchanged without cost, according to experts at Answers.com.
Also experts claimed that IXPs reduce the portion of an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) traffic which must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the Average Per-Bit Delivery Cost (APBDC) of their services. There are about 113 Internet Exchange Points globally.
Board chairman and chief executive of pioneer ISP in the country, Linkserve Limited, Chief Chima Apugo Onyekwere, gave this indication in a chat with Champion Infotel at the weekend.
Speaking exclusively to Champion Infotel after the inauguration of the 11-man board, Chief Onyekwere said that as matter of fact, the first mandate of the board is to come up with a date for the commissioning, which according to him must not pass the second week of April, even though the first week is receiving greater consideration.
“We have been mandated to pick a date before the first week of April for the commissioning or at most second week for the commissioning,” he asserted.
When commissioned, he said, the exchange would save lots of bandwidth for the operators and foreign reserve for the country.
In addition, he said, the exchange when up and running as it should, has the capability of improving the scale of local content in the country, especially when it comes to Internet uploading of content.
He pointed out that the board core reference apart from aforesaid, is to ensure the optimisation of the exchange by making it commercially viable.
“So, our board’s mandate is to bring to life this exchange in a commercially viable manner,” he said.
Explaining that the commercial viability of the exchange is to make it self-sustainable.
“It is not for profit, but the commercial viability is that it should be self-sustaining,” he told Champion Infotel at his Victoria Island office in Lagos.
Champion Infotel recalled that IXPN board was inaugurated at the weekend by the overseeing agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Speaking at the inauguration, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, said that it is in tandem with the directives of Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Champion Infotel notes that following the conclusion of the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis 2005, the need for Internet Exchange Point/Gateway for Nigeria came to the forefront in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development.
Consequently, President Obasanjo directed NCC to urgently establish an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) for the country.
This paved the way for the setting up of a Presidential Committee on the Nigeria Internet Exchange Point headed by Mr. Ndukwe Kalu of Amsco Telecom, at the first quarter of 2006.
The committee has since completed the first phase of the project, which was to set up the Lagos branch made of three exchanges, namely Ikeja, Victoria Island and Neccom House, Onikan-Lagos.
The Presidential committee also supervised the registration of a company with the name Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria Ltd (IXPN) with a guarantee to handle the operations of the exchange.
IXPN is also a Public Private Partnership (PPP) where all the nation’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content providers as well as stakeholders are to collaborate, just as the company is neutral and not-for-profit organization.
In readiness for the commissioning, NCC at the weekend inaugurated an 11-man board of directors to be headed by Chief Onyekwere, whose company pioneered Internet service provision to Nigerians with over 20 years experience in Internet Protocol-based consumer products.
Members of the board drawn from the ICT and academia aim to continue the process of expanding the Internet exchange presence in other parts of the country which number was initially slated to be seven.
Other members of the board were Mrs. Zubaida M. Rasheed of Transcorp, Dr. Sylvester A. Ehikioya, NCC, Mr. Sam Adeleke of Digitek Teevee Cunsulting and president, Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), Prof. K.R. Adebeyi of FTU Minna, Mr. Aminu Tijjani of Multilinks, Mr. Yen Choi of Netcom, Mr. Chioke Ogugua of Celtel, Mr. Sunday Afolayan of Scannet, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck of MTN and Managing director of IXPN, Mr. Muhammed Rudman.
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