Nigeria only has 16% Internet Coverage

On October 2nd, 2010, posted in: Oct 2010 News by

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By Ejiro Gegere

Professionals in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector said that although Nigeria has been rated third in terms of Internet penetration in Africa, the service is accessible to only 16 percent of Nigerians.

In a telephone interview, Muhammed Rudman, the chief executive officer of Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), said,

“I think the Internet penetration in Nigeria is okay, compared to other African countries.

“Nigeria is rated the third with Internet penetration, but there is still much development to be done as Internet coverage in Nigeria is 16 percent and its services are mostly in the urban areas. The rural areas and other urban areas do not have access to Internet connection, despite the fact that some of these areas do have mobile telecommunication services.”

According to Mr. Rudman, the main objective of the Internet exchange point (IXPN) in the country is to interconnect various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and network operators to exchange traffic between their networks, generally referred to as autonomous systems, by means of mutual peering agreements, which allow traffic to be exchanged at no cost.

Challenges

Years after the .ng country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name was launched in the country, many Nigerians are still sceptical about registering their companies or online businesses with .ng domain name.

He explained that the major obstacles to Nigerians’ unwillingness to associate with the .ng domain name include: lack of awareness, poor branding of the .ng domain name, and lack of credibility due to the cybercrime issues in the country.

Solution

Experts are optimistic that the recent submarine cables connection would improve the Internet service in the country. Only recently, Main One launched its open access submarine cable system, which, when completed, will span 14000 kilometres and will provide international and Internet connectivity in the country.

“With the coming broadband connection, it is a major opportunity to improve Internet penetration,” Mr. Rudman said.

He, however, explained that the government must work to provide the right infrastructures to aid the Internet services.

“Infrastructure is still a major problem for the industry as the right infrastructures are not available. They have to be made available to aid the distribution on bandwidth to the remote areas.

Source: Next Newspaper,Nigeria    Image:Next Newspaper

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