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Sunday, April 23, 2017

NCC seeks stakeholders input for Internet Industry Code of Practice

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is seeking stakeholders input on the proposed establishment of an Internet Industry Code of Practice (IICP) in the country internet space, reports ITRealms.

The request for this was published in the Commission’s website, noting that as part of its Internet Governance functions, NCC seeks input from stakeholders in the development of a code of practice in support of net neutrality and an open internet.

The Commission also expressed preference for a multi-stakeholder model of engagement in the process of policy development for Internet Governance.

According to officials of NCC, the objectives of the proposed Internet Industry Code of Practice include among other things, to protect the rights and interests of Internet Service Providers and consumers; Provide jointly agreed and effective solutions to the issues of discriminatory traffic management practices; Ensure adequate safeguards are put in place by service providers against abuses such as unsolicited messages; Outline the obligations of Service Providers in relation to offensive and potentially harmful content for minors and vulnerable audiences; and Promote the safe, secure and responsible use of Internet Services with due regard to provisions in existing legal instruments.

Other objectives of IICP, NCC outlined encompass to establish best practices for Internet Governance in Nigeria, in line with emerging issues and global trends; Provide transparent rules for the assessment and classification of Internet content; Increase stakeholder satisfaction through improved consumer experience online; Improve competition by addressing issues of traffic management; and improve operational efficiency.

NCC also explained that in developing the code would entail a review of existing Internet industry codes of practice across various jurisdictions, to determine and incorporate global best practices, as well as review relevant guidelines, regulations, and legislations currently in place in Nigeria, to ensure that the code of practice produced is in conformity; extensive consultation of key stakeholders on scope and content of code; Publication of a draft code for review and feedback by stakeholders; Incorporation of stakeholder feedback into draft code and Production of final document.

Stakeholders, NCC said, are expected to submit their input in form of comments, concerns, feedback, and suggestions for scope and content via this portal, assuring that any input will considered in the drafting of the Internet Industry Code of Conduct.

Further, NCC assured that a draft of the Internet Industry Code of Practice will be made available to stakeholders for feedback and change requests when ready. Stakeholders will be invited to a presentation of the draft at a special Stakeholder Consultation Workshop where they will be expected to critique and suggest improvements to the draft.”

Stakeholders, NCC said, will also be able to submit their critiques and suggestions via this portal up until the final draft of the code is produced.

Feedback received from key stakeholders via the Online Consultation Facility as well as during the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop will be factored into the transitioning of the draft into the final code of practice.


Chuks Egbune/GEE 
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