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NCC TASKS NIGERIANS ON BROADBAND PRICE

By NBF News
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The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) has urged Nigerians to have some patience on broadband price reduction.

The commission noted that the actualization of this dream may not come till 2013. The Executive Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwa, explained shortly after the commissioning of the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) in Lagos recently, while noting that many telecommunications companies were yet to buy enough capacity that would bring such effects.

He also stated that companies like MainOne and Glo 1 are still trying to find their footings because laying of submarine cables are no child's play.

Earlier in his remarks, he noted that 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. Broadband availability in Nigeria 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.

'This project is 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. This is to avoid the global imbalance in the global telecom connectivity that force some nations of the world to send local traffic designed for local destinations through international hubs located outside their countries, thereby attracting extra cost and consuming more international bandwidth. This means that this facility will save the nation some foreign exchange when fully implemented and I am told by the management of IXPN Ltd we will experience immediate drop in connectivity costs as well as cost savings of more than $20million in offshore Internet bandwidth payments in the first year of operations.

'You are also aware that this facility will allow local management of Internet traffic in Nigeria, will also 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 also added that these were some of the reasons NCC, with the cooperation of stakeholders, initiated the implementation of the Internet eXchange Point (IXP), with the one being commissioned as the first, saying, 'Centres would subsequently be located in each of Nigeria 's geopolitical zone. This is, therefore, part of the commitment of the Commission to ensure cost effective and speedy spread of the Internet across the nation.

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

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), IXPN, Mr.Chima Onyekwere, also explained that an Internet Exchange Point was a physical Network infrastructure that allows several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and several network operators to exchange traffic between their networks.

'The key purpose therefore 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. Normally traffic passing through an exchange is not billed by any party while traffic through an operator is. We would like to point out that prior to the establishment of this Exchange, exchange of traffic was routed through foreign countries. This is an inefficient traffic routing process until this development', he said.

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.