MOVING NIGERIA OUT OF NET “IMPORTER” OF BANDWIDTH STATUS
Nigeria has achieved a great deal in availability of bandwidth to enhance access to the internet through the landing of not less than five undersea cable infrastructure at her shores, more so, telecommunications operators have as well being upgrading their networks to improve internet speed and access.
Against this backdrop that internet users in the country have continued to increase, according to recent Nigerian Communications Commission report, there are about 111M internet users in Nigeria. But, in all of these the country’s internet users make more of downloads than uploads giving the country the status of internet ‘importer’ of bandwidth status.
Mohammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), explained that as a net importer of bandwidth, the country’s internet users browse more on eContent that are domiciled internationally than eContent that are localised. He noted that this scenario is attributed to the high cost of internet access in the country, “cost increases as you move away from the content”.
In order to reverse this trend, Rudman said that Nigerians should start hosting their information locally and government should lead the way by ensuring data sovereignty such that all her information are locally hosted.
“What Nigerians seek on the internet as eContent are hosted outside of the country even the common government contents, and now that major internet content providers such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook and AKamai a major internet content delivery operator have connected to IXPN and as well hosting some of their content in the country, why would government data and that of other Nigerians still be hosted outside?
“Government should promote local hosting because of its value chain as hosting of data locally will reduce capital flight. We don’t have to pay for hosting of data in Dollars when it is host in-country. “We have data centres of international standard with Tier 111 even Tier 1V certifications, what they need is right policy to reverse the trend of high emphasises on foreign hosting of data.
“Connectivity and reliability have improved over the past two years and cost will reduce as more people patronise their service,” he added. Peter Iwegbu, managing director, Pn Consulting, and former group head, ebusiness and payment, Access bank, offering insight on hosting of server by banks, explained that banks’ servers are based on applications that the bank runs and that a typical bank in the country runs an average of 20 applications which means 20 servers.
“But today the story has changed with virtualization. This means that a bank can have one physical box with partitions inside of the box for the various applications that the bank runs. With this innovation, instead of a bank hosting 20 or more servers as the case was in the past the bank will host only one physical box reducing cost,” he added.
Ike Nnamani, managing director, Medallion Communications, a data centre operator, said that hosting of virtual machine at a tier 111 data centre depending on the specification of the machine and the operator of the data centre cost about $1,000 per month or less. To this end, 21 commercial and one non-interest bank are spending some $264,000 to house their data at different data centres in the country annually.