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Stakeholders Make case for Local Internet Content Hosting

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Stakeholders in the internet administration ecosystem have advocated for an improved hosting of local internet content in the country as a way of developing the sector.

They argued that apart from saving foreign exchange for the country, domestication of content will help the springing up of hosting companies especially now that the country can boost of commercial Tier 111 Data centres.

Mohammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), said that keeping local traffic local and avoiding international links, would help local operators and users reap substantial cost savings, provide substantial local bandwidth and significantly improve local internet performance.

Rudman who spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek expressed worries that only 20 percent of internet traffic from Nigeria are directed at local content while 80 percent goes out of the country.

He also urged local content providers who host their servers outside of the country to consider relocating them in other to boost local traffic and save money for the country.

“Media and entertainment contents are generated locally but hosted abroad. The day we experience cut to undersea cable infrastructure that links Nigeria to the outside world, we won’t have access to those content which are generated here and are meant for Nigerians,” he added.

Corroborating Rudman, Mark Tinka, head of engineering at Seacom, a submarine cable operator with a network of submarine and terrestrial high-speed fibre-optic cable that serves the east and west coasts of Africa, said that 90 percent of Africa’s Internet traffic comes out of Europe.

“Much of that content was traditionally hosted in North America, but the content owners have, over the years, expanded their presence into Europe and the Asia-Pacific to improve the experience of their users and customers”.

“Most African Internet users tend to get much more of their content from Europe than from the US. Seacom’s dream is to one day be able to keep the majority of traffic on the continent, thereby reducing the amount of money Africa spends on transporting traffic to Europe. That will also help to drive more Internet penetration in Africa because of a reduction in cost of business,” Tinka noted.

Rudman, however decried the high cost of hosting servers at data centres located in the country which makes it difficult for content providers except for banks that have the financial muscle to afford the cost.

He attributed the high cost of the service to power issues in the country.

“More so, availability is important in driving local traffic. Taking content to the edge of the network makes cost cheaper, making the service closer to the end user. Uptime also plays a crucial role, this is why most data centre providers seek international certification,” he noted.

Mr. Ayotunde Coker, managing director of Rack Centre, said that Nigeria has one of the largest internet user bases in the world and driving local content hosting will compliment Nigerians desire to embrace the internet the more.

“Nigerians are keen users of the internet, be it via tablet, PC’s or mobile devices. This new initiative enhances IXPN’s vision for online development in the country. Rack Centre is a quality, carrier neutral facility that intends to keep raising the bar for data centre providers in Nigeria with a string of firsts; first to be Tier III design certified, first carrier neutral Tier III site and now the first Tier III data centre to sponsor and establish an Internet Exchange Point,” Coker said.

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E-Business

YouTube Go launches in Nigeria

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YouTube has announced that the YouTube Go app previewed at the recent Google for Nigeria event is now available for initial public download in Nigeria.

YouTube has been reimagined to meet the needs of the next generation of users in YouTube Go, which is available for initial download in the Google Play Store. YouTube plans to continue to learn from our users to improve the app over time.

Speaking on the announcement, Johanna Wright, VP Product Management at YouTube, said: “YouTube Go has been designed to take into account the challenges faced by YouTube users in countries like Nigeria, such as data cost and connectivity. With YouTube Go, we are making it possible for everyone in Nigeria to be able to discover videos that they love, regardless of their network status or data consumption preferences.”

With more Nigerians coming online every year, and most of them only using their mobiles for internet access, we are working hard to make products that are tailored to Nigerians’ specific needs.

“You can save videos for offline watching, and can choose what resolution video to save – basic quality or standard quality – giving you better control over how you use your precious data.”, he added.

Built from the ground up to meet the needs of the growing online youth population, YouTube Go offers easy video downloading, phone-number sign-in, effortless searching, and more effective ways to control data use.

YouTube Go also features a home screen that shows both personalized recommendations as well as trending and popular videos nearby, allowing users to see the latest content that the people around are watching, upfront.

It offers a ‘preview video’ function to make it easier to decide what to watch or download.

Before developing YouTube Go, the YouTube team spent thousands of hours gathering information, conducting interviews, doing testing, and refining the product. The result is YouTube Go, an entirely new YouTube app that is designed to be offline first.

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Improved Security Strategies Required for ePlatforms Uptakes- ITSSP

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By peter oluka ‎

Nigeria requires adequate cyber security measures to sustain the growth of service deliveries through e-Platforms, said information security experts.

Professor Adesina Sodiya, president of ITSSP in a telephone interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, described cybercrime as a growing global threat, but every country has learnt to defend its cyber space.

Prof. Sodiya said, ‎”Cybercrime is a global challenge; and the recent attacks in Nigeria have been affecting critical areas of our activities. That is why this group is concerned about the development of solutions to tackle the menace. We have to continue to discourse the way forward in terms of our national cyber development”‎

He said that, ‎as a country, professionals must be engaged to develop the cyber defence strategies. “Many countries have gone ahead with the development of defence mechanisms in the cyber space; Nigeria must not be left behind. We have not gotten there.‎

“Why do we need to be more serious about cyber space? There is a popular saying today that the next world war will happen at the cyber space.

“As at now, many countries are gathering information about other countries. They are peeping into other countries’ activities, which calls for us to develop our cyber security strategies to monitor inflow and outflow of data”.

Mr. ‎Aderogba Adeoye, former president of ITSSP also told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that increase in these e-platforms calls for improved cyber security awareness.‎

“Everybody is talking about e-platforms. If we are to run the e-platforms, it entails a need to develop capacities for security. Your data or information can be wiped off in a twinkle of an eye. As far as the e-commerce platforms are concerned, the intention is to make profit.‎

“For us to continue reaping benefits in e-services applications the capacity development of the human capital must be taken very serious. This is what the conference tends to address.‎

“We are not relenting. ITSSP is an interest group of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS); it is important to us to advocate for focus on issues related to cyber security”, he said.‎‎

He added that recent advocacies have yielded results with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), for instance, introduced information security departments. “That is a right step in good direction. The other day we engaged the Ministry of Justice and the National Security Adviser (NSA) and they were convincing enough on how admitting electronic evidences are helpful in combating cybercrimes”. ‎

“In order to build capacity government has to enhance IT policing activities by ensuring that anybody executing government projects, in IT, are registered professionals. This is another way to elicit adherence to the rules of the business,” Adeoye added. ‎‎

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E-Business

Stakeholders Frown at Nigeria’s Position on eReadiness Report

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by Chike Onwuegbuchi

Information and communications technology stakeholders have frowned at the recent position of the Nigeria on eReadiness status where the country is placed 119 out of 139 countries.

eReadiness refers to a country’s capacity and state of preparedness to participate in the electronic world.

The state of maturity is commonly measured by the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the ability of its government and citizens to utilize the positive impacts of ICT for sustainable development.

Chris Uwaje, director general, Delta State Innovation Hub, who disclosed the country’s position said: “In the e-readiness report just released early this week Nigeria is sitting at 119.”

He said; “eReadiness status is about the aggregate measure of how countries are faring using ICT or within the ICT landscape, it embodied economic, educational and social index, measured along the lines of sustainable development goals. Each country has an index that they need to pass, it just like exam. But the aggregate sum of our domain platform today is really unacceptable. It keeps us into that realm of super consumption country in ICT but less in innovative and creativity and that is wrong.”

He explained that the more we consume the more we cannot create employment. “The more we consume, the more we are funding capital flight, the more we consume the more our educational sector will be malnourished in terms of knowledge, and will not be attractive, that is why more Nigerians are now in Ghanaian universities and in Republic of Benin universities.

“For the country to move up it is about knowledge Olympiad. We need to refine our educational system, government need to invest more on knowledge parks, incubators, and fund incubators. We have to ensure that lectures and those who can replicate knowledge are given added resources and reward system that enables them. Because we need to create a digital army for this country, so that when financial sector, aviation, transport or any other sector is attack can we defend it?”

Amos Emmanuel, chief executive officer, Programos Software, said that Nigeria has a lot to do if she has to move up in the ladder of e-readiness.

“The game of e-readiness has changed; it is no longer like technological transfer from Europe or America the focus is now on innovation base on the environment. Nigeria needs to reformulate its digital policy,” he said.

He blamed the country’s socio-cultural environment as impediment to application of information and communications technology to every sector of the economy.

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