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Economy - Development | Technology

Nigeria gets Internet exchange

HANA / afrol News, 25 November - Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that the nation gets its own Internet Exchange Point (IXP) as soon as possible. The exchange point is set to "foster local markets and enable digital inclusion" in Nigeria and the region.

This is coming as the London's Internet Exchange (LINX), has thrown its weight behind the United Nations organised World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which ended in Tunis, Friday, over creation of multi-internet exchange points.

Internet Exchange Point is defined as a physical network infrastructure operated by a single entity whose purpose is to facilitate the exchange of Internet traffic between ISPs and it entails a minimum of three ISPs connected to each other.

President Obasanjo who was in Tunis for the second phase of WSIS gave this directive after a session on Internet Exchange point and infrastructural development.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr Ernest Ndukwe, who disclosed this to newsmen in Tunis after a session on Global Symposium for Regulators, said his office would do every thing possible to meet with the presidential directive.

Although he did not give a definite date when this would take off, Mr Ndukwe also said that the exchange would boost Internet usability in the country and lower the cost of access to the populace. Nigeria has witnessed evolutions in various aspects of the Information and Communications Technologies in last five years, but has no Internet exchange point.

Meanwhile, one of the world's largest peering points, with about 200 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content network providers (CNP), the London's Internet Exchange, has given support to the resolution made on the management of the Internet at the WSIS.

LINX, which on 19 October this year, became the first Internet Exchange in history to carry 100 Giga bits (Gbs) of traffic, agreed with Article 50B of WSIS on "Tunis Agenda," calling for the strategic development of Internet Exchange Points to ensure affordable global connectivity and to improve equitable access for all.

Sales and Marketing Manager of LINX, Ms Vanessa Evans, said her organisation welcomed the recommendation for creating national, sub-regional and regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). "It directly reinforces the importance of the LINX business model. LINX has a rich history, as a founding member of EuroIX for supporting and developing local Exchange Points," she said.

Ms Evans noted that IXP development is critical in regions such as Eastern Europe and Africa, where exchanges "foster local markets and enables digital inclusion."

Regulation Director at LINX, Mr Malcolm Hutty, also said they are pleased that the importance of IXP development has been recognised and reinforced by the Tunis Agenda. "Over the coming months and beyond, we will continue our ongoing efforts to reach out to regional IXPs, in order to offer our mutual support, experience and technical expertise," Mr Hutty assured.

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