Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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NCC 83RD Edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP)

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) team was in attendance at the just concluded 83rd Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) hosted by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at Digital Bridge Institute, Cappa, Oshodi, Lagos on 5th of April, 2018.

The event was attended by stakeholders in the Telecom industry, which include the consumers, NCC, Service providers, Consumer Advocacy Groups, etc.

The theme for the 83rd edition was “VALUE ADDED SERVICES AND ITS BENEFITS TO CONSUMERS”

Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) is an interactive platform for Consumers and Service Providers aimed at providing solutions to consumer complaints and concerns. The forum educates and informs stakeholders on rights, benefits and obligations. Though there were complaints about the services of some of the Network Service providers, there were no complaints about the services of NiRA.

An important aspect of the TCP is the Panel discussion session which addresses burning topical Industry issues through vibrant discussions by selected panel members drawn from Service Providers, Regulators, Intellectuals, etc.


The panel of discussants comprising of representatives from MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, Glo, Ntel, Smile, and other telecom stakeholders were constituted and the panel session was moderated by Bukola Sawyerr. The discussion enlightened the consumers on the benefits of VAS, the challenges, ways to resolve them.

At the end of the session, a 4 point communique was agreed upon by participants

  1. That the VAS providers should do more in terms of consumer education and enlightenment.
  2. MTN is to investigate the allegation of a second charge on MTN back up services.
  3. Service providers are to adhere strictly to the directives on Do-Not-Disturb (DND), so that consumers who opt out of VAS services would no longer receive such messages after opting out and they will no longer be charged.
  4. Service providers should ensure a second level authentication before a subscriber is opted in to a Value Added Service, through a follow up text message.

The Workings of Domain Names

When a domain name is typed into a universal resource locator (URL) space of a browser, what happens might seems like a magic, because you may have wondered how after typing in a few characters, a website suddenly appears. Really, what transpired at the backend is more than magic, it is the Domain Name System (DNS) technology at work.

If you ever wondered how domains work, or what really goes on behind the scenes? Read on!

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is a unique identity in the cyberspace, a registered presence on the Internet. The content that makes up your website (photos, blog posts, font files, etc.) are your website files. These website files are hosted on servers and these servers are only recognized by IP addresses. Your IP address will be a string of numbers. Your IP address is an identification number that allows one computer to communicate with other over the internet.

The introduction of Domain Name System (DNS) brings about an intermediary called a Domain Name. A set of DNS servers act like a phone book that connects IP addresses to domain names. The role of a DNS is to make browsing on the Internet much easier by pointing your domain name to a specific IP address.

Instead of having to type in an IP address whenever you want to access a website, all you have to do is type in the domain name. In other words, a domain name is a more memorable version of your IP address. Just like what you normally do when you search for telephone contact of your family and friends on a phone against their names when the need to make a call arises.

Every domain name is composed of the Top Level Domain (TLD) and other sub levels. Beyond the Top Level Domain, The other levels are hierarchical classifications of the domains, based on convenience. The hierarchy is interpreted from right to left and the levels are separated by dots. The complete name, having all the levels is called the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).

What Is a Top Level Domain (TLD)?

Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest level of domain names. There are a variety of TLDs available and the one you choose depends upon your style of site and business. For instance, .ng is a country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD). It is more beneficial, to register a .ng domain name if your target audience reside in Nigeria because .ng has a higher rank on search engines for information pertaining to Nigeria.

NIRA is moving. From the 1st Premium Auction to the 2018 AGM

We can now say with confidence that the first .ng premium domain name auction concluded successfully because the winners have all paid what they bidded for the premium domain names. We auctioned 5 premium names and the bids were all successful.

Though we had envisaged more participation from members of the public, the activities of those who participated in the bidding process was quite interesting. We have learnt a lot from this Auction, and will certainly improve on the experience when next we put names up for Auction.

The nomination process for the 2018 .ng Awards is still ongoing. The time period for nominations has been extended to midnight of Monday 30th April, 2018, to allow the active participation of the public and accommodate more nominations. Please nominate individuals and organizations who are worthy of the awards, based on laid down criteria. Visit the Awards nomination platform “http://nira.org.ng/nomination” to do so. All nominations must have .ng domains and the domain names must have been registered and active for at least 6 months.

The 2018 .ng Awards would hold on the 6th of July 2018. Plan to be there. It will be an experience.

NIRA is a stakeholder led organization that thrives on its membership for the formulation of its policies and directions. There is no better reason to become a member of NIRA, than the need to influence the policies that guide the running of the ccTLD. If you are not yet a member, we welcome you, your friends and your associates to join us by completing the membership application form, available at https://www.nira.org.ng/images/pdf/NIRA_Membership_Form.pdf

Finally, The 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of our Association will hold at 11:00am on Monday 30th April 2018, at the NiRA Office Complex, 8 Funsho Williams Avenue, Iponri, Surulere.

At the 10th AGM, i will lead the Executive Board of Directors to present and discuss our scorecard for the last one year. NiRA remains the second fastest growing ccTLD Registry in Africa and this should be of no surprise to all, taking into account all activities carried out in 2017 by NiRA to create awareness and showcase the .ng brand. Just review the statistics of the growth in registrations in the latter part of this newsletter, to appreciate the progress made so far.

I look forward to welcoming you all to the AGM either as a member, or as an observer.

I remain at your service.

 

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

President, NIRA Executive Board

.NG Domain Name Active Domains as at 31st March 2018

The monthly rate of growth of the domain name registrations is encouraging. In March 2018, there were 7,319 newly registered domain names as against the 6,797 registrations done at the same time in 2017. Altogether, there were 89,009 active domain names at the third level and another 19,590 active domain names at the second level, making a total of 108,599 active domains all together.

THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE YOUTHS

Social media can be defined as the facilities and tools that reduce the world to a global village; websites and applications that enables users to create, share contents and participate in social networking. The social media platform provides opportunities for users to create online communities to share ideas, information, personal messages, etc. Some of the social media applications include Facebook, Instagram, You-tube, My Space, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, etc.

Youths are predominantly the users of the Internet for social interaction. These are the people who cannot imagine life without the Internet, the group seeking for ways to connect virtually to everyone in the world. With over half of the Nigerian population under 30 years of age, they are the ones more frequent on the Internet. We must harness the creativeness of the youth for the economic growth of Nigeria. Bearing in mind that the internet opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities to the youths, the consequences of ignorantly using social media by the youths should not be overlooked.

Whereas we are aware that the social media can have positive effects on the youths, we cannot discountenance the negative effects it also has on the youths. Several studies have been conducted on this and we outline below some of the positive and negative effects of social media on the youths.

The various social platforms provide the youths with:

  • Great communication Tools to connect with loved ones and old friends irrespective of locations.
  • Access to positive and free information being shared on Social Media.
  • Opportunities to promote their businesses to a larger and wider audience.
  • Social Capital.
  • An avenue to contribute to emotional wellbeing of others by offering positive advices.
  • Opportunities to launch businesses online
  • Opportunities to market businesses online at little or no cost.
  • Real time sharing of information for businesses through paid and unpaid advertising.

The negative effects of Social Media on youths cannot be overlooked and can be overwhelming. It can have harmful effects on the youths if not controlled. Some of these effects include:

  • Lack of control of and over personal information: Youths post private information online without realising the associated risks.
  • Cyber bullying
  • Mental Health issues
  • Lack of Morals
  • Spread and ability to amplify Fake News
  • Exposure to adult information
  • Indirect encouragement of high rate of scam on social media
  • Poor grades from the academic pursuits
  • Long hours on Social Media platforms
  • Peer pressure
  • Addiction to social media

 

To ensure the safety of the youth online, it is strongly recommended that:

  • We have adequate and effective Online child protection laws
  • Parents as a matter of urgency should monitor the activities of their wards on the Social Media.
  • Government should empower the youths so as to engage them in more meaningful and constructive activities.
  • A cyber monitoring team should be set by schools to checkmate the effects of illegal activities of the Social Media.
  • The youth should be educated on the proper use of the Internet and Social Media.

 

We must guide the youths and limit their exposure to the negativity of social media. We must ensure appropriate laws are in place to protect them against the exposure to Social Media. We must channel their activities on the social media to yield positive results.

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