Reader Comments:

Internet

An article in Issue 386, "Nigeria’s National Internet Gateway of Controversy" reads "Thompson said the establishment of a parallel company to operate the country's internet gateway contradicts some sections of the contract and is against the best practices all over the world. He said the internet gateway all over the world is like the telephone code +234 that cannot be operated by two different companies for the sake of country's security and other issues."

There may be a a contract issue, but it's certainly not the case that it is against the best practices all over the world. In fact, the Internet uses BGP (the Border Gateway Protocol) to exchange routing information such that multiple operators can interconnect, and the best practice in the Internet is that multiple operators, multiple paths, and multiple gateways be used to provide maximum resiliency against disruptions, be they caused by natural disasters, hardware, software, operational issues or business failures.

It is true that some countries require support for wiretapping of voice and Internet traffic, and some of those then use that as a convenient rationale for monopolistic business practices. More prosperous countries follow the best practice of multiple interconnections and operators.

James Forster
Cisco Systems Distinguished Engineer