Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nigeria missing from Internet-2 evolution

Nigeria is missing out from the revolution known as Internet 2, according to the investigations by Champion Infotel.

Internet 2 is a project to develop new technologies for high-performance computer networking, which is specifically developed to facilitate research and educational purposes, the involvement of research, commercial and government organisations also aims to distribute this technology into the wider community.

Spearheaded by a non-profit consortium of universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies under the aegis of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), develops advanced network applications and technologies, for deployment in education sector with high-speed data transfer purposes.

It is led by 212 universities in partnership with about 60 companies in areas from the networking such as Cisco Systems, publishing firms like Prous Science and technology industries such as Comcast, Intel and Sun Microsystems among others.

Champion Infotel recalls that reports have it that Internet may soon be overloaded due to avalanche of transactions especially the number of electronic mails being generated daily.

Proponents of this opinion said that the flood of data across the Internet have continued to increase, which suggest that sometime soon it’s going to collapse under its own weight.

Noteworthy, however, is that the same report was also awash last year, and in the early 90s, Internet users were merely sending text e-mails of a few bytes each, even as traffic across the main United States (US) data lines, for instance, were estimated at a few terabytes a month, which have steadily doubled on yearly basis.

And by mid 90s, industry observers witnessed the arrival of picture-rich websites, and the invention of the Media Player (MP3), even as suddenly each net user wanted megabytes of pictures and music, and the monthly traffic figure exploded.

It was also gathered that in the next few years that followed were more steady growth with traffic again increasing by estimated 200 per cent.

But since 2003, Internet users reportedly grew astronomically, through YouTube generation for those who want to stream video and download gigabytes of data whilst on the move.

Commenting on this report, chief executive of an Internet Service Provider (ISP), PiNet Informatics, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, said he was not surprised, because the infrastructure on ground seems to be overstretched.

“This has led to development of the Internet 2 with more capacity focusing on education institutions,” he said.

Mr. Ajayi stressed that Internet 2 has commenced in the US, Europe and North Africa, but is yet to get to Nigeria as expected, just as the government and its agencies charged with Information Technology (IT) development are still grabbling in ignorance.

“Internet 2 is having much more capacity and this is because Internet-1 was built without the kind of today’s traffic in mind since most people now want to stream video and pictures among other files that consume lots of bandwidth exist,” Mr. Ajayi said.

He however, decried non-effort of the Nigerian government or any of its agencies in developing Internet-2, describing it as “unfortunately.”

“Our country has not made any serious move in developing Internet 2 or joining efforts in this direction,” he told Champion Infotel.

Also speaking, chief executive of another ISP firm, Amsco Telecoms Limited, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu, noted that the whole Internet is a network connections and where there is a burden is the pipe that connects these networks, such as bandwidth availability.

He pointed out that over 99 per cent of Internet users across six United States-based data or major telcom companies, which developed a national fibre network including OneCom.

According to him, the Internet is evolving from mere text to graphics to video and noted that video is based on bandwidth and that means the capacity, so its not just the pipe, but the Personal Computers (PCs) have to be upgraded too, to meet the demands, citing an instance that with a low end Pentium 2, it (Internet) cannot optimised.

“Internet 2 is evolving in US, so all we need to do is to factor correct infrastructure such as broadband in our development plan,” Mr. Kalu advised.

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