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Data Driven 4G LTE Will Relish Video Streaming, Local Content- Venn



Mr. David Venn, chief executive officer of Spectranet

Mr. David Venn, chief executive officer of Spectranet said that online video streaming will become better with the launch of fourth generation technologies (4G LTE) in Nigeria.

Venn who was speaking on the recent announcement by Spectranet to deploy first server for Netflix in West Africa, said that lovers of movies and TV series now have better deals, adding that the gesture will push the pay-tv stations to rethink on their strategies. 

Low Cost Online (Video) Contents
He said, “To have a better experience on Netflix you need to have fast internet connection. That is why the Netflix customers are going to have better experience because there will be no buffing; with $10 a month you get the movies in a high definition (HD) and you can watch on two screens. It means you could be watching television at home and someone else could be watching via the smartphone, different content on the same account. In other words, with $10 a month you have all the contents available to you; watching unlimited times. The contents are mainly movies and TV series. Netflix is not even resting on its oars in making available new contents. They spend billions of dollars in producing their own contents.

“Therefore, lovers of movies and TV series now have better deal; you could be watching series from office, continue in your car while heading home after work and you can get home, turn the TV on and resume from the spot you pursed. Now, I am in Nigeria and my son is in UK, we watch Neflix on the same account”.

Venn gave insight on the choice of Spectranet by Netflix thus, “Netflix was looking for a broadband (internet service) provider with high speed an offers quality service. So, they selected Spectranet. We now have a dedicated Netflix server. That contains the whole content (library) of Netflix. Every night it is updated with the California server. So, as new episodes are coming out (fro series) they are updated simultaneously.

“It happens at night when the internet is not too busy, because it requires a huge data to download HD videos. They gave us the server, managed remotely. What that means is that, normally, if you were using Netflix in Nigeria that was downloaded from the UK and US. So, you were internationally streaming videos from their server. But now, with the server in Lagos, it is like local content. On our network you go straight to the server and streaming will be much better and faster for our customers.

Spectranet’s Benefit
“The key thing for us is not only one of the first in Africa to get Netflix server, we are the only one in West Africa. No network provider in West Africa, of any sort has it, including Nigeria. In other worlds, their customers still have to stream movies and TV series from either UK or U.S., for us it is local. They chose Spectranet because of our quality network. They love the fact our customer watch their movies a lot. They have the statistics”.

Local Content
He added that the partnership will also boost local contents such as IrokoTv and Nollywood contents.

“On local content, you already got IrokoTv which is doing quite well. Last year we encouraged our customers to watch IrokoTv; they are a lot of local content (Nollywood) on the platform. That too is helpful. For the fact I am on Netflix, I can as well have IrokoTv account. It gives you choice for foreign and local contents. IrokoTv app can be launched on Netflix, because there are a lot of Contents (apps) on it. For instance, I can watch SkyNews live. I have DStv at home, but I have no time for it, because SkyNews is there and all the Tv series I need are on Netflix. So, I can download IrokoTv app on Netflix and it becomes part of the menu. I am not using a browser; it looks more like a TV station. For instance Apple Box (containing Apple TV), you do not subscriber to it. It is more of plug and play.

“Now, if you acquire Apple Box, it even accords you further varieties. When you view, it synchronizes your Netflix account. So, you do not need to buy the movie the second time. And Netflix is a competitor to Apple Tv. Apple Tv is a different model where you have to pay for everything you watch. If you move to news; SkyNews for instance, I can clique on any piece and watch or view live broadcast. They stream on my internet service.

4G LTE Is Data Driven…Costs of Streaming HD Videos
“The truth is that data is getting cheaper than it was two years ago. We also introduced unlimited night time data usage for our customers. From 1:00am to 7:00am, it is totally free. Thus, you can watch Netflix at night without any cost. Netflix also has its package; if you are a (Netflix) customer, you do not come to us, rather you go to them. They have a first month free package; no obligations as you can choose to sigh off/cancel anytime. So, the $10 monthly subscription is free for the first time you come on board.

“During the day and early evening you will pay for the data (Spectranet). I maintain that data prices are coming down. 80% of our customers are on 20GB plan (which is now 25GB for the same price with free unlimited night browsing). Neflix is an OTT service and we love it. You can switch to non-HD; that is standard view experience, so as to save your data. Secondly, you do not pay per Netflix movie, but monthly, which is cheaper than pay Tvs we have around here.
Plans for Sustainability (Partnership to Drive Traffic)
Spectranet remains the most reliable internet service provider in the country. Our up time is higher than any operator. The last thing you would want to happen is for the internet to be off, especially when you have movie to watch. We have been doing this for over 5 years and the first to launch 4G LTE. With the experience we have gotten we know how to manage 4G LTE network.

“It is very different from managing voice network. We have the backups- generators, batteries, all to make sure network is up. Even if they fail, we have a third party towers to connect instantaneously. We have our data connectivity to our core data centre located in Lagos and connected to major submarine cables like MainOne and three others. Even if the submarine cables are down, you are not losing any data, because the content is local. The only thing that will affect the process is the synchronization at night, because new episodes need to be downloaded. So, if you are using another internet service provider in Nigeria, you cannot access the server”.    


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So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Group Calls for Collaborations to Decongest Prisons



A group has called for more support from well-meaning Nigerians to help decongest the prisons.

The group, Justice Development and Peace Centre made the call recently when it visited the Kirikiri medium prisons to secure the release of some inmates.

Speaking after the release of the prisoners who were convicted for wandering and street trading, Mr. Onyema Onyenankeya the Festac Deanery Coordinator of the group, said, “The release of these 8 prisoners today is part of the centre’s efforts at decongesting our prisons. We would have loved to release more of them but we do not have the capacity to do that.”

“We try as much as possible to make sure they go back to their respective homes and then we empower them when we have any of our empowerment programmes. All these require funding”, he said.

“We were told that some people still come on their own to also help release some prisoners. This is what we’re talking about. The person there doesn’t have to be your relative or someone you know before you help such person(s) regain their freedom”.

Onyema added that with the state of the prison facilities and the fact that a facility built to cater for 1,700 inmates now has over 3,600 is cause for worry.

“As at when we visited the prisons, we were told that there were 3,603 inmates out of which 3,080 were awaiting trial and 523 already convicted. We do not know those we secured their release, they’re not related to any one of us but we believe that in doing this we’re helping them secure a better future because they have committed lesser crimes, though it is crime against the state,” he said.

In dismay he noted that even as some prisoners were being released, more were being brought in. “This shows there’s a serious problem that we need to deal with. We must have to continuously decongest these prisons and provide better lives for our teeming youth”.

He however asked that the government do well to upgrade its prison facilities, while also admonishing the released prisoners to desist from all forms of crimes and to at all-times obey the laws of the state.

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 CSO Sends FoI Request To NCC



Following the alleged plans to block online news sites, the Paradigm Initiative has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Nigerian Communications Commission asking the Commission to provide it with information on the matter.

The request was filed by the digital rights advocacy organisation on Friday at the Abuja headquarters of the Commission, giving the Commission seven (7) days as stipulated by the Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act 2011, to release information on the alleged attempts to block domain names of online newspapers.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Tribune exclusively reported on Sunday, October 5 2017 “that the government, through the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), has engaged the services of a firm in Lagos to block the domain names of “several identified websites threatening national security.”

The newspaper further alleged that Commission wrote a memo to the firm, directing it “to immediately take steps to restrict access within the Nigerian cyberspace in respect of 21 (twenty one) additional websites by blocking the domain names. (The list of websites is attached).”

According to Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Program Manager, “the phrase “additional websites” in the memo indicates that there are other websites already marked for illegal censorship through an equally illegal blockage of their domain names. If this is true, then this would be a clear indication of this government’s anti-free speech agenda”

“It has been six days since Tribune published its story and NCC has not come out to deny the story. This is why we have filed this FoI request. NCC cannot wish this report away; the commission has to come out and address Nigerians on the issue”

In the FoI request, Paradigm Initiative asks NCC to provide it with answers to the following questions: Is the Nigeria Communications Commission or at of its agents in the process of taking steps or block or restrict the domain names of certain websites? If yes, what websites would be affected? What criteria were employed in selecting these websites? Under what legal provision is this being carried out?

According to Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programs, “it goes without saying that blocking the domain names of newspapers is a brazen violation of the right to Freedom of Expression as guaranteed not only by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also by international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

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Web4Africa Celebrating 15 Years of Operations In Africa



By peter oluka

Web4Africa, the Pan African Web Hosting Company, has reached a milestone this October, celebrating 15 crystal years of business.

The company, offering web services physically from Nigeria, has grown from the dreams of the founders, serving 40,000+ clients across over 120 countries.

Today, the giant strides of Web4Africa is felt across the region with the peculiar nature of customer-centric services to hundreds of domain types as well as hosting solutions from four datacentres across Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Established in 2002, Web4Africa is one out of the only two ICANN Accredited Domain Name Registrars in Nigeria and boasts of young- professional team (average age of 28) who are skilled and motivated deliver a happy experience to the clients.

“It gives me great pleasure in joining Web4Africa employees, clients and host of business partners South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana; in fact, across the Continent, in celebrating the company’s 15th anniversary. We have come a long way since commencing operations in 2002 and are very excited about our future as the company continues to thrive in these difficult economic times,” said Oluniyi Ajao, the President and CEO, when discussing the celebration.

Web4Africa’s ability to engineer solutions based on customer’s specific needs has helped the company to continually grow over the past 15 years. For instance, the Company is among the few that accepts Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Skrill, Payza, and more for Domain Registration, Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers.

“Our strongest area has always been the mass market. It so happens that to cover that large number of people, our price has to be reasonable. We make our pricing to be within reasonable range to attract the right people”, Mr. Ajao said, while speaking on 25% discount offering to customers as part of packages to mark anniversary.

Clients’ fondness for Web4Africa’s is not far-fetched, but due to its affordability and cost-effective carrier-neutral environment; local cloud hosting (in Nigeria), offers promise for future growth and 100% uptime.

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