" ITREALMS: Non-usage of internet exchange constitutes capital flight – Rudman

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Non-usage of internet exchange constitutes capital flight – Rudman

Managing Director of Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) Limited, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, has decried non-usage of the nation’s Internet exchange by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), culminating in payment of huge sums to international carriers in delivery of internet services, which constitutes ‘capital flight’.

He also called on international companies, like Google, Microsoft among others in the country to localize their deployment of content distribution network, even as IXPN plans to acquire a spectrum for the Nigeria Research and Educational Network (NREN).

Speaking at a one-day maiden edition of Nigeria Internetworld Conference and Exhibition (NICE), organized by Embolden Limited, held at the Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos (UNILAG) recently, he said that international companies should emulate Akamai to increase local development.

“We depend entirely on international connections for regional and local communications,” he said, maintaining that the huge amount paid to international carriers constitutes ‘capital flight,’ adding that traffic going overseas means transit charges are paid to upstream ISPs.

He also said that in changing this tide positively would encourage the massive campaign for local content development and deployment of critical internet resources, underscoring the fact on the need to establish the first Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in the country.

Although he did not disclose the sum ISPs are paying to international carriers to deliver services originating from the country, Rudman noted that in moving forward, there is need to interconnect all the West African-based Internet eXchange Points (IXPs) towards realization of a Regional Research and Educational Network (RREN).

Rudman, who dwelt on “IXP as catalyst to National Research and Educational Network” at the occasion, said that collaboration with the Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) forum to connect all higher educational institutions nationwide to the exchange point towards the establishment of Nigeria Research and Educational Network (NREN), has become imperative.

In addition, he said that there is an on-going training and retraining of administrators of the nation’s higher education institutions on network planning, Internet Protocol version (IPv6) and Local Internet Registry (LIR) in partnership with Mauritius-base African Network Information Center (AfriNIC)

Equally, he said, collaboration with the nation’s telecommunication regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) towards the acquisition of spectrum for NREN.

He traced the establishment of IXPN to the 2005-held World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) summit in Tunisia, followed by the presidential directive to the Federal Ministry of Information and Communication (FMIC) to establish an IXP in Nigeria.

Further, he said, NCC called a stakeholders forum in February 2006, with the implementation committee presided over by the Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) leadership, hence, Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) Ltd GTE is a not-for-profit and neutral organization.

This, he said, was followed by the inauguration of an interim board in March 2007 by NCC, stressing that the concept of IXPN is to make available a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers could exchange Internet traffic between their networks autonomous systems.

An IXP, Rudman said, interconnects Internet service providers in a region or country, thus allowing them to exchange domestic Internet traffic locally without having to send those messages across multiple international hops to reach their destination.

Historically, Rudman noted that the first ARPANET link was established between the University of California, Los Angeles and the Stanford Research Institute on 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969.

“The early Internet was used by computer experts, engineers, scientists, and librarians,” he declared.

IXPN boss explained that that the major providers connect their networks and exchange traffic, pointing out that simple concept is that of any place where providers come together to exchange traffics.

Lamenting the current approach of an electronic mail traveling for instance, from UNILAG to London through New York and landing at Yabatech as the destination point, saying that the cost is high and definitely slower speed.

According to him, unscheduled electricity power outages affect everyone and everything at this time.

“It hinders local content development,” he asserted, maintaining that with optimization of IXPN, would save money for the country and local traffic would remain local.

Money used in foreign exchange, he said, could be channeled towards providing better local infrastructure and services for customers, who now pay less for Internet access.

“Therefore more customers sign up, better business as well as enhancing local connectivity and improving internet experience of end users,” he said.

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