The Federal Government is to actively support the establishment of Internet Exchange Points, IXPs around the country in order to encourage the proliferation of the technology among the Nigerian people.

To this end, the board of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has recently approved a proposal to fund the setting-up of Internet eXchange Points, IXPs, in Nigeria and the collaboration of NCC with the ISP Industry under the umbrella of Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) to achieve this objective. The proposed IXPs will operate on a not-for-profit basis.

The NCC has also approved the appointment of Digitek TeeVee Engineering Co. LTD to manage the implementation of the first phase of the IXP project in Lagos.

The Internet is a network of interconnected computer networks and IXPs are the points at which multiple networks interconnect. In the absence of domestic IXP an Internet Service Provider (ISP) must send all outbound traffic through its international links, most commonly satellite. The aim of building a Nigerian IXP is to keep and interchange local Nigerian internet traffic such as e-mail, download of local website content, file transfers via ftp, etc within Nigeria and allow only international traffic to be exchanged at points outside Nigeria.

At present, local internet traffic is exchanged outside the country, often across several hops with the attendant high cost of service delivery which limits internet penetration & local-content distribution, associated security risks, and the potential increase in congestion of international access circuits which could negatively affect Quality of Service.

The NCC held a consultative meeting on 28th February 2006 with the key industry stake-holders at its Abuja office, after deliberations, an industry committee was set-up to discuss and agree a way forward for the rapid establishment of the IXP for Nigeria. Membership of this committee includes Engr Ndukwe Kalu, CEO, Amsco Telecoms and VP for ISPAN who was appointed the Committee Chair, and the other members are Mr Ike Nnamani, CEO, Medallion communications Limited, Mr Tosin Oni, CMO, Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Limited, Mr Femi Adalemo, HOD,Content Emperion WA, Engr O. T. Abiodun, DGM, Nitel Internet Services, Mr Abubakar Yakubu, Assistant Director, licensing, NCC, and Engr. Chris Agha, Deputy Manager, Technical Research and Standards NCC. The committee recommended that the IXPs be built with 7 branches in Phases; these branches are to be located in Lagos, with Main-branch at NECOM House, and additional 2 sites at Ikeja and Victoria Island, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Enugu , Abuja, Kano and Maiduguri, after which further sites will be built as may be required. All sites are to be link using high Capacity IP back-bone of over 100Mbs.