Nigeria internet ecosystem has achieved a significant milestone with the exchange of 110 gigabtye per second bandwidth of traffic locally, Nigeria Communications Week has learnt.
This feat represents an increase of 10,000 percent over the past five years and 40 percent of telecommunications operators and internet service providers (ISPs) traffic in the country.
Nigeria Communications Week investigations revealed that in June 2018 the country was exchanging 30 percent of all its internet traffic locally, this means that it added 10 percent in five months as against adding 20 percent between 2015 and June 2018.
Explaining this boost, Muhammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) told Nigeria Communications Week that the growth could be attributed to level of awareness among Nigerians of the impact of local hosting on the economy, cost of internet as well as quality of service.
“A lot of Nigerians are now hosting their servers locally and we at the Exchange have attracted because of our huge size some of the big players in internet content into the country, such as Google, Facebook and AKamai and presently we are trying to bring other bigger ones into the country. Major contributor to this huge increase came from Facebook which has fully connected to the exchange.
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He added that most of government websites are now hosted locally as well as private organizations. “But in terms of real content such as videos, Nollywood videos are not yet hosted in the country. This accounts for substantially what the other African countries would be searching for in Nigeria, unfortunately this is not yet hosted in the country. We hope that the likes of IroTV will start hosting locally.
“Videos are heavy, they occupy a lot of space and the cost of hosting in Nigeria is still on the high side, considering the volume it brings into the country it might cost them far more that what they are currently paying internationally.“Secondly, the movie industry has not taken advantage of the internet for now; aside IroTv there is no other local internet platform that host Nollywood videos.
“More so, there is no demand to some extent of online videos. Nigerians are not watching videos online like downloading of a whole movie to watch because the capacity is not there, for instance, if you want to download a movie on you mobile phone to watch and the movie is heavy it will take your data and meanwhile data is expensive in Nigeria and so you might eventually not try it. But, if broadband becomes pervasive in the country and the industry matured they will start hosting locally just like Netflix in America where everybody is watching Netflix just because they have high speed internet access,” he said.
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 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.