DigitalSENSE has held a two-day forum during which participants discussed net neutrality, Nigerian Internet users, Internet governance for Development among others in Lagos
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun 15, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE federal government has charged stakeholders in the information and communications technology, ICT, sector to carry out an industry-based study on net neutrality in the country. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, immediate past chairman, House of Representatives Committee on ICT, stated this at the opening of a two-day annual Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Net Neutrality and Nigerian Internet Users, Internet Governance for Development, IG4D, and IPv6 Roundtable in Lagos.
He urged the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, to initiate a policy study on the issue of net neutrality with interest on how it could affect Nigerians, especially the internet users. He said addressing this would enable the country to have a defined reasonable traffic management policy dealing on all the associated concerns arising from net neutrality with its attendant usurping of services to end-users in the country.
While reassuring on readiness of the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives to do all their power to encourage a level playing ground, Gusau expressed hope on the forthcoming 8th session to even thrive to achieve more than the outgoing 7th session. He also commended the role being played by DigitalSENSE Africa Media Limited in staging the forum annually.
He said the role of DigitalSENSE Africa has ensured that Nigerians are enlightened enough to key into the global competitiveness of the internet. “The forum by God’s grace has become a sin qua non, in other words an essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary for internet community in Nigeria as industry stakeholders-based approach to gather annually to jaw-jaw on latest issues on internet and internet-related matters for individuals, groups and national growth and development,” he said.
Gusau noted that the signing of the Cyber Bill into law by the immediate-past President Goodluck Jonathan on May 15, 2015, was a plus for the National Assembly. “I think Mr. President and indeed the National Assembly deserve applause, and we will continue to do more in that regard. If you recalled that in 2011, in a forum by DigitalSENSE Africa Media Limited at the Golden Gate, Ikoyi, Lagos, I promised Nigerians that Cyber Security Act will come into play before the end of 7th session of the National Assembly and by signing this into law by former President Jonathan that promise has come to fulfilment.”
However, he said the theme of the forum passes for the network neutrality, internet neutrality, or net equality principle that internet service providers, ISPs or government should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites. Gusau said this principle would enable the ISPs and government to treat all data on the internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
In her opening remark, Nkemdilim Nweke, executive director, operations, DigitalSENSE Africa, said IPv6 Roundtable mission was to stimulate public discourse and create awareness on the technological cum business benefits of the rapid advancing technology on internet protocol address. She noted that this would encourage integration of IPv6 into all aspects of networking and telecommunication infrastructure in the country. “This forum was organised to celebrate the World IPv6 Day on Friday, June 5, as well as offer first-class platform for networking. Just as erudite speakers have been selected to do justice to the theme and sub-topics.
“I want to thank all participants, especially the panel of speakers, representatives of all the industry groups here present, members of the press and everyone here who has contributed in making this event a success. Permit me to use this opportunity to commend our sponsors and partners, NCC, NITDA, ISOC Nigeria, TeleomGroup, Galaxy Backbone, IXPN and a host of others. I thank you all for supporting this event,” she said.