The Interconnection of several networks linking thousands of devices - the Internet - and the resultant dependencies on the facilities provided, have become an indispensable platform for communication, commerce, development, amongst others. The reach of this platform extends beyond the traditional borders of nations and as such impact on one “area” affects another, thus no nation can stand aloof or remain complacent with its developments and use. The Governance of the Internet is therefore a major global concern.
There are several agencies responsible for various aspects of internet governance, and each plays a significant role. Currently there is no agreed universal definition of Internet Governance, but the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) organized by the United Nations, in 2006, gave this working definition;
The development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.
The Nigerian Communications Commission as regulator oversees the activities of all Internet access, and Services providers. Pursuant to this objective, the Commission designs programmes and initiatives, organizes events, carries out research on Internet Governance developments in other jurisdictions, promotes the establishment of a multi-stakeholder structure of policy development, participates in Internet Governance related fora within and outside the region, and partners with International agencies to drive growth in Internet access, growth and usage within Nigeria. Commission’s activities and initiatives includes;
The Development of the Internet Code of Practice (ICoP)
The Commission in line with its regulatory mandate published the ICoP in 2017 to define the rights and obligations of Internet Access with regard to the provision of Internet services in Nigeria.
The Commission as the industry supervisor will ensure Implementation and compliance.
Development of National Internet Registry Database
The Commission documents information on all IP addresses allocated to Nigeria by AFRINIC. Such information is utilized for various regulatory activities relating to security on the Internet.
Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN)
The Commission in collaboration with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) supported the establishing of Point of Presents (POPs) in various remote locations across the country. Optimal functionality of the IXPN will:
- Localized internet traffic with low latency
- High speed internet access
- High bandwidth at a lower cost
- Improve services and application performance at the exchange point
- Encourage more local content adoption
Internet Governance Collaboration
The Commission collaborates with the following Internet Governance related bodies;
- Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA)
- Nigerian Internet Governance Forum (NIGF)
- Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC-NG)
- West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF)
- African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF)
- African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC)
- Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN)