Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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IXPN UPGRADES SWITCHES TO OFFER 25GE, 40GE PORTS

As part of efforts to improve performance, service, and scalability that are critical to today’s evolving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), has acquired Switches capable of 25GE and 40GE ports for its entire network in Lagos.

The Chief Executive Officer of IXPN and President of NiRA, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, who disclosed this in a statement in Lagos, said the upgrade of the switches would help the company address the current and anticipated needs of its members. “The essence of upgrading our core switches is to keep up with global trends and to ensure that the expectations of our members are met, this would allow us to offer 25Gbps and 40Gbps (Gigabits per second) ports to our existing and potential members. Prior to this time, we could only provide a maximum capacity of 10Gbps. With the acquisition of the current switches, IXPN is providing an opportunity to our members to scale and to get access to the latest features.” Rudman said. He added that the upgrade would provide more switching platforms for the Exchange customers that need high capacity, and also, boost the scalability of the exchange by accommodating more volume of traffic.

The Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria has recorded an increase in membership, with the connection of seven new members, making a total membership of 66 getting direct access to multiple internet networks with a single connection, he revealed These new members, according to the company are Bitflux, Brainshare Technologies, Cynox-IT, Microsoft, SoftAlliance, WACREN and WIOCC:

This necessitated the addition of the 4th Point of Presence to its list of Lagos POPs, which is at Interconnect ClearingHouse Nigeria Limited’s Data Centre at NECOM House, located in Lagos. Thus, members interested in connecting to the exchange point within Lagos Island can now establish their connection at the ICNL data centre. Meanwhile, IXPN is on the verge of launching what can be described as a standard training facility, where its members and the general public will constantly receive capacity building/training in tandem with the fast-growing Information and Communications Technology industry.

The facility, located at the IXPN’s corporate office in Lagos is set for launch this month and will be used for training IXPN’s members on topical issues affecting their services, with facilitators regularly drawn from local and international organisations. Speaking on what informed the decision to setup the training facility, the Chief Executive Officer of IXPN, Mr. Rudman noted that the capacity building facility is borne out of the fact that the ICT ecosystem is evolving rapidly and it has become imperative to have an avenue for increasing the knowledge base of members and generally players in the industry. “As a regional IXP with 66 members presently connected to the exchange point, we felt it was high time we upgraded our facilities to include capacity building for our members, so as to tackle the current dearth of technical skills in the ecosystem and to also keep our members abreast of the latest trends in internet technologies,” he said.

BUILDING A BUSINESS EMPIRE ONLINE (BABE 3.0)

The Third Edition of ‘BABE in Lagos’, organized by WhogoHost Limited, held on the 7th November 2019 at the NiRA Office Complex, Iponri, Surulere Lagos. The event, which aimed at helping businesses get online, revealed key information about the benefits of being online and the steps necessary for businesses to take, in order to leverage on the benefits that the internet provides.

Mr. Ikechukwu Ezeji, the Program Officer at Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), kick started the event by talking about the reasons why individuals and startups should use a .ng domain for their businesses. He stated that the .ng domain names help to build National Pride, promote local content, Reduce Capital Flight, Create Job Opportunities, Protect Brands amongst other benefits. He also explained the necessary steps required to obtain a .ng domain name



Mr. Toba Obaniyi, the Chief Executive Officer of WhogoHost Limited revealed insights on the key principles required to build a successful online business. He stated that any business that doesn’t innovate will eventually die using the real-life example of Netflix and how they have continuously innovate to stay ahead of the game. Mr. Obaniyi explained that in order to build online businesses, the entrepreneur must have a functional mobile responsive website, maintaining a social media presence, communicate effectively with clients using effective customer support services, and Market their products using effective tools and mediums.

An important area of focus during the event was the issue of hackers taking advantage of unprotected websites and Cybersecurity. He stated that apart from businesses having websites, it is equally important for businesses to maintain and secure their websites. He also gave out simple tips to ensure businesses and individuals are safe online.
Mr. Nzube Roberts, a Public Relations Executive at Media Panache, addressed the attendees on effective ways to market a Business online. Mr. Nzube stated that marketing should be deliberate and carried out effectively. He advised Businesses to have an attractive website, offer incentives, run contests, build email lists and send out mails regularly, and remain authentic in all that they have to offer.

The event was brought to a close with a question and answer session during which Mr. Obaniyi emphasized the need for entrepreneurs and startups to learn from other businesses and avoid the pitfalls that may eventually lead to the failure of the business.

NIGERIAN NETWORK OPERATORS GROUP (NGNOG) 2019

THE INTERNET: FOR EVERYONE? The need to ensure that the internet is made affordable and accessible to everyone across the nation, at this time, cannot be overemphasized. This was the objective of the 2019 edition of the Nigerian Network Operators Group (ngNOG) conference which was themed ‘The Internet: For everyone?’ The conference held on the 28th and 29th October, 2019, at The MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos and brought together individuals with various levels of technological expertise.


Commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Mobile Network Operators, Infrastructure Providers, Security Agencies, Technical staff of research and education networks, Public and Private sector networks, NGOs, End users, and other relevant stakeholders all gathered for the two-day conference to discuss critical issues and exchange technical and operational information.

The need for increased collaboration among the stakeholders was re-iterated severally during the event, especially in the areas of infrastructure and information sharing in order to reduce the overall cost of doing business. It was said that this will furthermore ensure high quality and affordable internet services provided by the ISPs.
Mr. Dewole Ajao, Managing Director, Bandwidth Consortium noted the progress made by stakeholders in ensuring internet provision for everyone. He commended the ngNOG conference for providing stakeholders the platform to talk to one another and decide the way forward.

In her keynote address, Mrs. Edith Udeagu, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) noted the strides being made by the Registry in coordinating the use of the .ng country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) and the Domain industry in Nigeria. She also emphasized the role of NiRA in resolving disputes through its Dispute Resolution Policy. In response to questions fielded from the audience, she explained that the Data Privacy Policy is strictly adhered to by NiRA and this ensures the security and protection of personal data for those who use the .ng domain name.

The Co-Founder of Meed Networks, Mr. Ahmed Atere explained the importance of joint efforts in building Fiber Optic networks. He noted that Telcos would benefit immensely by working together in building scalable backbone networks that would help reduce constructional, operational and maintenance costs.

On day two of the conference, while addressing the importance of holding the government accountable, the President of NiRA and Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudman charged service providers not to ignore the government but to hold them accountable to their promises. He suggested that this should be done by service providers, collaborating and setting concrete agendas for the government every year and providing updates on the implemented policies, executed projects and achieved goals.

Various panel discussions were held during the conference, one of which was titled ‘Affordability, Ease of Doing Business and the Reality of Internet Service Provision in Nigeria’. Panelists during this session; Mr. Ahmed Atere and Mrs. Edith Udeagu shared valuable insights, while Rev. Sunday Folayan, the Immediate Past President of NiRA, facilitated the panel discussion. They all agreed on the essential focal points needed to achieve excellent delivery of Internet Services to end-users with a reasonable margin of profit. Some of these essentials include Patriotism, Functional Business Plans, Business Integration, Dynamic Regulation, Deferred Taxes and Capacity building amongst others.

The National Coordinator of ngNOG, Dr. Adewale Adedokun noted the relevance of global information networks and how they currently effect transformational change in various spheres of the economy.
The conference created the opportunity for organizations to exhibit their products and services. Some of the exhibitors included NiRA with three of its accredited registrars, Medallion Communications, Flexoptix, MDx-i, AFRINIC, WIOCC, Layer 3, IXPN, Internet Society Nigerian Chapter and Rack Center.

The Conference ended with the presentation of awards to various sponsors of the conference including the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Facebook, Netflix, Google, Bandwidth Consortium, and NISTech Limited. Mr. Ikechukwu Ezeji who received the sponsorship award on behalf of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), thanked the organizers of ngNOG for creating a platform that bridges the gap between providers and consumers. He added that the platform fosters the engagement between multiple stakeholders to initiate lasting solutions to various Information Communication Technology problems within Nigeria, Africa and the World at large.

SUMMARY OF THE .NG RESELLER ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM.

The second edition of the 2019 .ng Reseller Entrepreneurship program held on the 13th of November 2019 at the NiRA Office Complex, 8 Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere Lagos. Over 50 prospective resellers attended the event as well as representatives of three NiRA Accredited Registrars.
The Resellers Entrepreneurship Programme (REP) is aimed at developing and training entrepreneurs & aspiring entrepreneurs in the Domain Name Industry. The training provides insights into the vast opportunities that exist within the Industry. Participants are encouraged to network with professionals within the industry and as such, the event had three NiRA Accredited Registrars (WhogoHost Limited, Garanntor Limited and Upperlink Limited) on hand to facilitate.

The first presentation titled “How to be a .ng entrepreneur” was delivered by the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mrs. Edith Udeagu. In her presentation, she stated that even though NiRA operates the 3R (Registry/Registrar/Registrant) model, NiRA recognises the role of Resellers in domain name business. The Resellers reach the remote clients and remote parts of the country where the Accredited Registrars might not have the physical presence. She stated that there were plenty of opportunities in the reseller business and the reseller business was not capital intensive. All that was required were a phone with an internet connection to commence a reseller business. She concluded by encouraging all participants to learn as much as possible, partner and network with industry players and prepare for a better future.

Presentations were also delivered by other NiRA team members including Mrs. Kemi Adepoju (Head, Business Development), Mr. Olusegun Akinwunmi (Web Services Administrator) and Mrs. Adenike Ore (Application Support Administrator). The presentation by Mrs. Adepoju titled “Opportunities in the .ng domain name industry”, stating that the domain name is like a digital gold rush, where the value keeps rising. She added that Domain names can be used for websites, email addresses and forwarding to an existing site or social media business page. She outlined some opportunities that exist in the .ng domain name space which included acting as Accredited Registrars and Resellers.

Mr. Akinwunmi’s presentation titled “Introduction to Domain Name System (DNS)”, explained that the DNS is the mechanism which connects a domain name to the IP address of the server where the website is located. He added that domains go through a life cycle from when they are available to when they are deleted.
Mrs. Ore gave the presentation titled “.ng Domain Name Policies and Naming Conventions”. She stated that there are policies guiding the registration of .ng domain names, which registrants must adhere to. She shared the domain name naming conventions highlighted the policies concerning registration of offensive names, geonames, restricted names, premium names, etc.
Three NiRA Accredited Registrars (WhogoHost Limited, Garanntor Limited and Upperlink Limited) made presentations in relation to their Reseller platforms and Hosting services.

At the end of the programme, certificates of attendance were presented to the participants and .ng souvenirs were given to the three most resourceful participants.

IS YOUR BUSINESS EMPIRE ONLINE?

As the year 2019 draws to an end, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) prepares to take stock of her activities, programs, and interventions thus far in 2019. NiRA is passionate about driving the initiative for getting businesses online while engaging strategically to ensure that the businesses have a prominent identity, are secure and stay active.

Through the year 2019, we have engaged with various stakeholders within the internet community, and we are very proud of the resultant effects of these engagements. From Developers to Resellers, NiRA has provided invaluable content, vast networking opportunities and closer interactions with Subject Matter Experts to support growth within the ecosystem.

The question we would like to ask you, our dear readers at this point is whether your business is one of those that have recognized the “wokeness” of being online with a “.ng” domain name. We wonder how many of our events you attended and how well you have utilized the lessons learnt which are NiRA’s gifts to you in 2019. As a bit of icing on the cake, in this edition, we would like to share some tips about strengthening your businesses online.

  1. Get a .ng domain name. Really, this is a no-brainer. Be patriotic!
  2. Build your brand in a unified manner. Do your personal and business activities speak with the same voice? Create profiles which advertise the products and services which your business offers while enhancing the value of the business by your personal online presence.
  3. Optimize your website and make it responsive. Whether your website is commercial or not, it should be as engaging as possible, to drive your business. Have you considered Search Engine Optimisation? There are a number of useful tools which you can explore.
  4. What about Security? Online security will be a prominent discussion point as we go into 2020. More than ever before, local hosting companies are providing services which rival those provided by foreign ones. How you protect your customer’s data will be a key selling point for your business.
  5. What are you broadcasting online? As we go into the year 2020 and with all the discussions around Hate Speech and the possible changes in legislation in Nigeria, it will be even more critical for businesses to watch what is transmitted on their websites and social media handle. It is important that businesses focus on their value proposition and foster truth in all the online representations of their businesses.

We hope that you have started setting worthy goals for your business for the year 2020 and years ahead and that building an online empire that stands tall will be one of those goals.