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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

‘We’re repositioning IXPN as W/Africa hub’

The chairman, board of directors of the Internet Exchange Point Nigeria Limited, Chief Chima Onyekwere, has said that the exchange is positioning itself to become the regional internet exchange hub for West Africa.

“As Africa become more and more connected internally we are positioning ourselves to be the regional IXP for West Africa,” he said.

Onyekwere made this assertion at the formal commissioning of the Internet Exchange facility at main location by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah in Lagos at the weekend.

He outlined some of the key advantages of an exchange point to a nation to include keeping local internet traffic local, reduction in costs, latency and bandwidth typically for networks and operators, just as he said that an Internet Exchange Point is a physical Network infrastructure that allows several ISPs and several network operators to exchange traffic between their networks.

He also said that IXPN has increased its membership base and also succeeded in attracting the attention of various organizations, adding that it’s willing to partner with more members and organizations in promoting local traffic and building the IXPN to a world class standard.

At IXPN, Onyekwere who was accompanied by the chief executive officer of the exchange, Mr. Mohammed Rudman and members of the board, reiterated their commitment not only to the development of a national Internet infrastructure, but increasingly, an infrastructure that would span the entire African continent, Europe, America, Asia and the entire world.

“IXPN will provide the much expected benefits required at an IXP as well as build and maintain a global reputation for quality, performance, reliability and excellence in all aspects,” he assured.

Onyekwere who also is the executive chairman, Linkserve Group, said that the IXPN offers connections at its operating locations at 100M and 1000M (1G) port speeds.

“The IXPN operates a Mandatory MLPA (Multi-Lateral Peering Agreement), which means it is mandatory for every member to peer with the IXPN route servers,” he said.

Additionally, he said that IXPN offers a private interconnect service to allow members to have bilateral connections in a cost effective way.

“You must be an IXPN member before you can sign up for a private interconnect service,” he explained.

Onyekwere further commended the management of the IXPN led by Mr. Muhammed Rudman, the pioneer Managing Director.

“This young man with his passion for this exchange has sacrificed severally without pay for months initially and sometimes moved the network around to avoid damage and rains! He has shown uncommon passion and today I commend him highly for his steadfastness and commitment to an assignment that did not show much hope earlier,” he said, stressing that he did all of what could be seen today with his staff and the board is definitely very proud of them and appreciate their commitment and drive to show that it could be done.

Although Onyekwere noted that they are yet to reach the Canaan land, they look forward to such a time they would be commissioning a main location owned by IXPN.

“We also intend to have branches in Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Maiduguri as well as other states of the Federation in the near future,” he disclosed.

Emphasising that IXPN started with zero membership but today could boast of some of the major players in the Internet Service Provision (ISP) sector, in addition to a couple of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMAs), Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication operators and higher institutions as members.

The Internet Exchange Point Nigeria, he said, has moved from a stage of obvious skepticism
from then intending members to having organizations like Google, Central Bank of Nig (CBN), National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA) among others who support and contribute to this project.

ITRealms Online recalls that IXPN has 11-man board of directors and was founded in 2005 at the instance of the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo after the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia.

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