The duo of Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), a membership-based organisation, which provides a platform where networks interconnect directly within Nigeria and Medallion Datacenters, West Africa’s most connected facilities last week in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city in a workshop engaged various stakeholders, mostly in the Internet ecosystem on Internet peering and interconnectivity.
Essentially, the workshop and subsequent engagement was centered around the impact of Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria and Medallion Datacenters on the ICT industry, and ultimately, the benefits of peering and interconnection to prospective organizations.
Explaining what peering and interconnectivity between various stakeholders will bring to the industry, the Chief Executive Officer of IXPN, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, noted that peering will enhance Internet connections for citizens and organisations alike, which will at the end of the day help the economy to thrive.
“Peering and interconnectivity through internet exchanges address the challenges of traffic by ensuring the shortest possible route is used to reach a given destination.
It keeps traffic as local as possible, which improves performance and enables faster connections between networks, facilitating high-speed data transfer, lower latency, increased bandwidth and improved fault tolerance,” he said at the gathering that attracted over 100 stakeholders, mostly network engineers and administrators.
He also called for a concerted effort to host of content locally, stressing that doing so will provide additional revenue opportunities to local Internet Service Providers and datacenters which in turn creates more jobs and serves as a driver for economic growth.
“Nigeria cannot continue to pay money to foreign hosting companies as it constitutes capital flight, puts more strain on Nigeria’s foreign earnings, slows the growth of local data centers and delays the development of new ones,” he said.
Warning that hosting data overseas has several implications on the economy, end users, Nigeria’s security, legal and businesses, Mr. Rudman argued that if the content is hosted locally in any of the data centres, it has a direct and indirect impact on the economy in terms of job creation and revenue for the government.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Datacenters, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani asserted that the strong growth of Africa’s digital economy will drive demand for more data centers on the continent. Thus, there is a need to have more data centers to be able to accommodate the surge.
“While we call for local hosting of content and data, there is also the need to build more data centers to be able to accommodate the strong growth of Africa’s digital economy,” he said.
He said Medallion already boasts of a datacentres, which is touted as the largest Peering and Connectivity hub in West Africa with 70+ Carriers and ISPs present and accommodate 68 percent of Nigeria Internet Exchange’s traffic.
But going by the strong growth of Africa’s digital economy, it is building another datacenter with 232 racks, that has access to the initial datacenter and providers via campus connects.
Meanwhile, to boost the capacity of its increasing members and reiterate its commitment towards improving the internet ecosystem in the country, IXPN organized a free Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) training for network engineers and administrators that attended the workshop as well as peering benefits to prospective organizations.
According to IXPN, the training was aimed at empowering its members with the rudiments and workings of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is important as a one-stop peering point for service and content providers. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is a gateway protocol that enables the internet to exchange routing information between autonomous systems (AS).
IXPN is currently the Regional Internet Exchange Point (RIXP) for West Africa, with over 110 active networks interconnected, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Hurricane Electric, Cloudfare, Netflix and some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria.
Featured Image: Participants at the Internet Peering and Interconnectivity Workshop in Abuja last week