ATCON laments Nigeria’s slow migration to IPv6
• Says CST Bill will stifle ICT sector’s contribution to GDP
The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), has expressed worries over the slow migration process from IPv4 to IPv6 in the country.
Besides, it has equally joined calls for the stoppage of the planned nine per cent communication service tax which the Federal Government planned to impose on some of the operations in the ICT industry.
The President of ATCON, Olushola Teniola, who spoke in Lagos, at an international capacity building and enhancement workshop on IPv6 hosted by the body, Nigeria Internet Registration Agency (NiRA), and the University of Ibadan, in conjunction with Africa Network Information Centre (AFRINIC), noted that the need to migrate to IPv6 was long overdue.
He said ATCON is not happy that majority of the networks in Nigeria are not IPv6 compatible, stressing that this posed a threat to Nigerian ICT development.
IPv6 is Internet Protocol version 6. It is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion. It is intended to replace IPv4.
Teniola, who was represented by ATCON’s first Vice President, Anthony Nwosu, said the body has invested and still investing heavily in the adoption of IPv6 in the country.
He said ATCON is investing to enhance the performance of the country’s network engineers on network management with the ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainable growth of the Nigerian telecommunications industry is second to none globally.
According to him, it has become necessary to invest in IPv6 in order to provide network engineers with the required knowledge to compete favourably with their counterpart in the global market, adding that it has become highly important to provide impetus for network operators to migrate from IPv4 to IPv6 with its attendant advantages.
Teniola said the perceived benefits of imposing a Communication Service tax on telecommunications subscribers has the potential to erode if not destroy the achievements that have been made since the sector was liberated.
“ATCON’s position is that the proposed Communications Service Tax bill should be stepped down. We advise both the House of Representatives and the Senate (the Legislative arm of government) to discontinue with the bill,” Teniola said.
According to him, any action that has the potential to derail the telecoms industry should be avoided by all tiers of government in Nigeria as the benefits of imposing a Communication Service Tax on telecom subscribers are far lower than the revenue that it is going to create for the government.
The ATCON boss explained that the general rule of investment or principle of investment is that institutional investors will take their investible funds to countries where the tax rate is low or lowest.
“As we all know that Nigerian telecommunications subscribers are already paying tax because VAT is embedded in calls made and data consumed.