Speaking last week on progress so far, NIXP CEO Muhammed Rudman announced the lowest price thus far negotiated on SAT3 and that seven members were now connected to the exchange.

Rudman said that NIXP has negotiated a landmark agreement with NITEL to provide SAT-3 transit traffic at the rate ofUS $2,800 per Megabit duplex connection to all NIXP members, marking a major reduction from the previous price of US$6,300. He called on those still unconnected to NIXP to join the party:”We are also using this opportunity to invite all the major players in the industry to become transit providers for NIXP if they can provide same or lower rates than that provided by NITEL”.

There are now seven ISPs connected to NIXP: Tara Systems, Linkserve, Netcom Africa, Cyberspace, 21 Century,   MTS First Wireless and Medallion Communications. They were joined last week by the first PTO to become connected: Starcomms.

Rudman noted:” By peering with other ISPs at the exchange point, it means all local internet traffic will remain local within those ISPs and Starcomms'.

Hitherto, all ISPs within Nigeria were connected at foreign countries which meant that the data of say a JAMB (Joint Admission and Matriculations Board) student within Lagos browsing the JAMB website located within an ISP in Lagos will travels first to Europe or the United States before getting back to the Nigeria. The scenario is just like going to Ibadan from Lagos via U.K. and U.S.A. It has been estimated that this use of international bandwidth for national data costs Nigeria over US$100 million each year”.

“Today, Nigeria is one of only 11 of the 53 countries in Africa that have IXPs. However, this marginal IXP connectivity results in an inefficient exchange of African inter-country traffic through hubs located overseas mainly in the US and Europe. This means that Africa is paying overseas carriers to exchange "local" (continental) traffic on its behalf. This is costly and inefficient”. He said he believed that unnecessary international transit was costing Nigeria US$100 million a year. The minimum bandwidth for joining NIXP is 10/100 mbps but up to 1000 mbps is available. High bandwidth capacity will provide reliable web-enabled applications, ranging in scope from e-government, e-commerce and multicast services for Government and private sector.

NIXP has now got an Interim Board in place and its members are: Chima Onyekwere, Linkserve; Zubaida M. Rasheed, Transcorp; Dr. Sylvanus A. Ehikioya, NCC;Engr  Sam Adeleke, Digitek Teevee Consulting; Prof. K.R. Adeboye, FUT Minna; Aminu Tijjani, Multilinks; Yen Choi, Netcom; Chioke Ogugua, Celtel; Sunday Folayan, Skannet, Akinwale Goodluck, MTN  and NIXP’s CEO Muhammed Rudman.