The Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umaru Danbatta, has said the nation would save at least N2 billion annually if the recent data hosting with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria continues.
He said public and private organisations in the country were losing about N10 billion annually to frequent hosting of Internet content overseas, and could lose twice the amount should the recession continue in 2017.
Danbatta disclosed this at the Telecoms Executive and Regulators Forum in Lagos, which was organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria.
“The utilisation of the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria by some telecoms and Information Technology companies in the country could steadily reverse the situation and save Nigeria at least N2 billion, rather than losing N10 billion or more annually,” he said.
An Internet Exchange Point (IX or IXP) is a physical infrastructure through which Internet Service Providers and Content Delivery Networks exchange Internet traffic between their networks.
The IXPs reduce the portion of an ISP’s traffic, which must be delivered through their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the average per-bit delivery cost of their service.
The NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, who was represented by the Executive Director, Technical Services, Ubale Maska, said the IXPs were the focal point of the Internet.
He noted that they were critical for the development of the Internet in any country and would not only reduce the cost of Internet traffic by keeping local traffic local, “but more importantly, they enable additional applications, which have a considerable multiplier effect on the economy.”
He said, “Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria is an initiative of the NCC that enables Internet service providers, telcos, content providers and educational institutions to exchange Internet traffic locally within Nigeria”.
Danbatta said the NCC also provided the seed funding that set up the IXPN as a not-for-profit organisation with the key objective of improving the Information and Communications Technology ecosystem.
“The Nigerian IXP is now the second largest IXP in Africa. It has been estimated that the IXPN saves the nation above N2 billion yearly, which would have been paid out to international carriers in the United States dollars if this facility was not available in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that the IXPN also reduced the delay associated with routing local traffic internationally, adding that, “This drop in latency increases speed and better quality of service to end users.”
He added, “For every Internet content hosted locally, it saves Nigeria foreign exchange, which would have been paid to foreign companies. This ensures that local data centres flourish, hence, creating more jobs and increase in technical competency for our engineers.”
The Managing Director, IXPN, Muhammed Rudman, shared the same view, saying that Nigeria had won the bid to become a regional Internet exchange point in the African Internet Exchange System project under the African Union Commission.