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Expert Urges NITDA, NCC to Address Connectivity Issues

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NCCDEWOLE Ajao, operations manager, Bandwidth Consortium, has urged National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to intervene through issue of guideline on standards required before network software or portal is deployed for public use.

According to him, ‘day after day, many Nigerians stand in line for hours at banks, airline ticketing offices, government service providers like Customs, Driver’s license authority, hospitals, among others waiting for network downtime. The usual culprit is that “the network is slow” or “the server is not going”. As a Network Engineer, I cringe each time I hear “the network” being blamed for portal design or capacity planning failure.

Contrary to what the person behind the service counter would have you believe, there are a couple of reasons for these service failures and if we do not start addressing them, people will keep wasting indefinite man-hours in queues while trying to use technology that was supposed to have made our lives easier. Too many of our software developers have no idea how to optimize (or even evaluate) the network bandwidth utilization of their applications.

He however urged the relevant regulatory institutions in the information and communications technology to intervene with guidelines to address this anomaly.
“NITDA, NCC and Federal Ministry of Communications Technology (FMCT), are now overdue to issue guidelines especially where public services are involved, before networked software or portal is deployed for public use, the application developers should be required to demonstrate how many kilobits/second (kbps) of bandwidth is required per concurrent user. This will help the organization budget appropriately for network connectivity to give end users a hitch-free experience. Network operators supporting such portals must also be mandated to provide network and server utilization statistics on a weekly/monthly basis to help with assessment of resource utilization,” he stated.

Ajao noted that, because the cost of internet work connectivity can be high, organizations with largely centralized operations should be encouraged to have in-house servers with offsite connectivity as backup to reduce the amount of traffic going out over slow and expensive internet links.

He also said that Nigerian Data centre operators need to be educated to know that Nigeria is no longer in the 56kbps dial-up Internet age.


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