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Monday, January 17, 2011

Juwah commissions Lagos Internet exchange N3bn

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, has officially opened the Network Operating Centre (NOC) of the Internet Exchange Point Nigeria (IXPN) in Lagos.

This is coming as Nigeria is to save an estimated $20 million, about N3,068,199,951.17, in offshore Internet bandwidth transactions.

Speaking at the occasion, Juwah said that he was delighted to perform the commissioning of the Internet Exchange Point for the nation.

He also said that the event marked a major starting point for realizing the desire to achieve speedy spread of Internet services across the country, and the quest to reduce cost of Internet connectivity, improved quality of Internet services and above all, keeping the nation’s local Internet traffic local.

“It is well known in the industry that one of the most cost effective ways of managing the Internet traffic of any country is to ensure that domestic Internet traffic is kept within the nation,” he said.

According to him, this facility would go a long way in checkmating the imbalance in the global telecom connectivity that forces some nations of the world to send local traffic designed for local destinations through international hubs located outside their countries.

This, he noted, attract extra cost and consuming more international bandwidth, which means that this facility would save the nation some foreign exchange when fully implemented, stressing that immediate drop in connectivity costs is expected as well as cost savings of more than $20million in offshore Internet bandwidth payments in the first year of operations.

Juwah declared that this is commendable, pointing out that the facility would allow local management of Internet traffic in Nigeria to remain local and result in improved security profile of the Internet traffic and save the nation of the embarrassment of volumes of scam mails originating in this country that tend to affect the our image abroad.

“This is in addition to giving the practitioners the opportunity to create local content which is very desirable in this country,” he said.

The EVC said that this were some of the reasons why NCC with the cooperation of the stakeholders initiated the implementation of the Internet eXchange Point (IXP) centres to be located in each of the geopolitical zone.

“This is, therefore, is part of the commitment of the Commission to ensure cost effective and speedy spread of the Internet across the nation,” he said.

The success of this project, he said, gives confidence that the plans for pervasive broadband Internet availability for the citizens will be realized.

“The Commission has already stepped up plans on its focus on the broadband availability and is currently reviewing the implementation of the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI) and the Wire Nigeria Project to give them more verve,” he said.

Broadband availability in Nigeria, Juwah said, remains very high in the priorities of the Commission and the success of this project provides an impetus and hope that we will succeed in this direction.

He, therefore, commended the board and management of the IXPN Ltd and renew the pledge of continued support for its projects.

“We commend the cooperation of all the companies and institutions involved in the implementation and usage of the Internet Exchange Point,” he said, underscoring the fact that the cooperation of different companies and institutions in this project is very remarkable and an indication that success is sure, even for the future success of IXPN projects.

Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman, board of directors, IXPN, Chief Chima Onyekwere, said that the journey of this Exchange point started with a dream shared by the nation’s Internet community several years ago.

“This dream has come to birth today officially and we are all so proud,” he said, underscoring the importance of an Internet Exchange Point, which he described as a physical network infrastructure that allows several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and several network operators to exchange traffic between their networks.

He explained that the key purpose is to allow networks to interconnect through the exchange.

“In effect, the benefits to all the networks or operators are a reduction in costs, latency and bandwidth typically,” he said, noting that normally traffic passing through an exchange is not billed by any party while traffic through an operator is.

He pointed out that prior to the establishment of this Exchange, traffic was routed through foreign countries.

“This is an inefficient traffic routing process until this development,” he said, noting that the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) was initiated by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who directed the NCC to set up a national based Internet Exchange Point.

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