By Chinenye Anuforo

Anambra State Governor Charles Soludo has initiated moves to reduce the cost of access to the internet in the state. This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer, Anambra State ICT Agency, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata in a virtual media briefing during the weekend.

According to Agbata, the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the State are currently in partnership with the ICT Agency towards the establishment of an Internet Exchange Point. He added that the initiative focuses on improving interconnectivity and reducing the cost of Internet access and deepening penetration.

An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical facility through which Internet infrastructure companies such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) connect with each other.

By having a presence inside of an IXP location, companies can shorten their path to the transit coming from other participating networks, thereby reducing latency, improving round-trip time, and potentially reducing costs.

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The CEO explained that IXP in a place like Anambra can have far-reaching implications for both the local digital ecosystem and the broader community. “These implications include faster internet speeds for end-users in the state, cost savings as ISPs can provide more affordable internet packages, opportunities for local businesses to expand their online presence, enhanced data security, and the development of innovative solutions, job prospects, and a thriving tech ecosystem, ultimately contributing to overall economic growth in the state.”

He urged all ISPs operating in the state to unite and support the project. According to him, the Exchange point will act as a central hub, bringing together various network operators, higher educational institutions providing internet services, and ISPs.

Agbata also stated that apart from the establishing an IXP, the state has activated the pilot phase of the Public Wi-Fi (Solution Wi-Fi) at Aroma Junction, Book foundation and Unizik Gate, Ifite Awka. “This marks a significant stride and efforts are ongoing to extend this Public Wi-Fi to various public spaces across the State in line with the People’s Manifesto.”

He said that the Agency, through its baseline Study of E-government Infrastructure in Anambra State has set the stage for a digital revolution in the Civil Service. “This initiative resulted in Governor Soludo’s approval of the procurement and distribution of the first batch of 200 state-of-the-art PCs and laptops to various MDAs, advancing the objectives of digitisation and professionalism across the public sector. 2024 will witness the distribution of more digital tools to more civil and public servants in line with Mr Governor’s promise of modernising the State’s workforce.”

Agbata said as a roadmap to achieving the Governor’s vision of “Everything Technology and Technology Everywhere”, the ICT Agency has come up with a comprehensive draft ICT Policy document ; “This policy was developed and ensures comprehensive input which has resulted in a holistic document that represents the views of all relevant parties.”