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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NCC inaugurates IXNP board

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, has said that his agency is set to inaugurate the first governing board for the Nigerian Internet Exchange Point (IXNP).

Disclosing this at an interactive session with the media in Lagos at the weekend, Dr. Ndukwe said that the inauguration would not pass this week and members of the board would be extensively drawn from the private sector.

“We want it to be private sector-led initiative,” he said, stressing that it would also herald the launch of the exchange point.

The initiative, he said, is significantly driven by President Olusegun Obasanjo himself, adding that the federal government decided to put fund down to set up the exchange so as to encourage the nation’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to tap into the exchange.

This, he said, was encouraged by the President’s participation at the 2005-second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS-05) held in Tunisia.

In a related development, IXNP has entered the final sign-off stage, according to the chairman, Presidential Committee on IXNP, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu.

He confirmed to Champion Infotel that following the visit of key NCC officials to the sites of exchange in Ikeja-Lagos, fortnight ago, the final sign-off testing involving all the radio and tracking the same on the exchange has been established.

Mr. Kalu described the steps as the best way forward in making sure that the exchange is commissioned as soon as possible.

“They have seen the equipment and I hope they are satisfied,” he said.

Champion Infotel recalls that following the recent completion of the Lagos branch, seven Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have connected to the exchange, even as 20 others are on queue to be connected, which would be added as soon as the inauguration takes place.

“The three sites of Lagos branch are completed and ready,” he said, emphasising that the Presidential committee on IXNP has officially notified NCC that the exchange is ready.

“We’re waiting for the inauguration of the interim board of the exchange and formal commissioning of the exchange by the NCC. This schedule is based on NCC timing,” Mr. Kalu submitted.

He also listed those seven ISPs currently on the exchange to include Tara Systems, Cyberspace, Netcom Africa, Linkserve, Amsco, Medallion and Disc Communications.

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