OBSTACLES TO INTERNET GROWTH IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is an oil-rich country, situated on mid-Africa's Atlantic coast, or as it is often described, West Africa. It is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous in the world.
If Nigeria is to really live up to its aspirations of emerging a great country then it cannot ignore the increasing importance of the Internet in communications, education, business and commerce. Already this significance is being reflected by the increase in the number of cybercafé, ISPs and numerous Internet based businesses in the country. The Internet has spurred the economic and social growth of most developed nations and the same effects are being seen in many developing nations. But as reported by internet world stats, Internet penetration in Nigeria stands at only 7.2 percent. Though very poor for a country priding itself as the giant of Africa with a huge population of more than 150 million people, its potential for growth is massive and thus positive.
There are many challenges on its way to growth: some of these challenges are explicated here.
HIGH COST OF GETTING INTERNET:
Internet doesn’t come cheap in Nigeria. As it stands, it is arguably the preserve of the rich who often times than one, have access from their homes. One of the reasons for the high cost of connecting to the internet is the costs involved in using satellites due to a lack of cable infrastructure. Most Internet traffic in Nigeria often times needs to be routed by satellite via North America and Europe Website. But this trend has reduced due to the use of mobile phone data and low subscription bundle from our ISp’s.
LOW SPEED AND TIME-CONSUMING INTERNET
Out of 10 million estimated Internet users in Nigeria, broadband users are few. High-speed broadband requires fiber optic cables. The situation should, however, improve as there are a number of projects underway to connect African countries with the rest of the world through undersea cables which is hoped will eventually lead to affordability and fast speed.
PERVASIVE POWER OUTAGES
The epileptic power situation in the country has further compounded the woes of the few ISPs and Cyber cafes operating in the country. With very unreliable power in the country, operators are left with no choice but to acquire and rely constantly on generators; expending huge gallons of fuel daily, in order to distribute internet to offices, homes, or cafes for subscribers.
Traditional internet service providers are beginning to face increasing competition from internet services offered by mobile operators. The introduction of 3G services in the country has enabled many Nigerians to access the internet through mobile devices. Meanwhile, access to telecom services isn't necessarily reliant on new cabling. While only 4 percent of people in the country have fixed telephone lines, 30 percent have cell phones.
LACK OF INTERNET READY PCS
Nigerians are not provided with Internet-ready PCs as done in the advanced countries. Though Zinox Computers, a computer manufacturer and a leading CDMA telecom operator are joining forces to make this available, and other efforts are currently being made, much of this still remain in the doldrums.
HIGH LEVEL OF ICT ILLITERACY
Although it must be said that ICT knowledge in Nigeria is growing and being embraced, yet there remain a large majority of rural population that have not seen firsthand, the immense benefits of the internet.
Another of Nigeria's Internet problems is the growing internet culture among Nigerian youths representing more than 80 per cent of Nigeria's population - Young minds due to lack of awareness, low number of Nigerian website on the internet, lack of Nigerian specific e-payment system and poor e-learning culture throng cyber cafes only to check their email accounts, visit pornographic sites, shop online with stolen credit cards and so many other negative vices that has come to be known as YAHOO YAHOO!
Other problems facing internet growth in Nigeria are as follows
1. NO CLEAR REGULATION FOR WEB HOSTING COMPANIES IN NIGERIA
2. NO PLACE TO SEEK REDRESS FOR POOR SERVICE FOR PROVIDERS
3. MULTIPLE TAXATION FROM GOVERNMENT, AND LOW LEVEL FINACING OF ACTIVITIES.
4. POOR DELIVERY OF SERVICE DUE TO DOWN TIMES AND LACK OF BACK UP BY HOSTING PROVIDERS
Despite all of these daunting challenges, Nigeria is pursuing a path of reforms and modernization. It has the raw materials -- natural resources and educated talent -- to become a world player. And its fledgling Internet industry presents a tremendous opportunity to build bridges with other countries.
An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing and using the Internet. Internet service providers may be organized in various forms, such as commercial, community-owned, non-profit, or otherwise privately owned.
Internet services typically provided by ISPs include Internet access, Internet transit, domain name registration, web hosting, Usenet service, and colocation.
The Internet was developed as a network between government research laboratories and participating departments of universities. By the late 1980s, a process was set in place towards public, commercial use of the Internet. The remaining restrictions were removed by 1995, 4 years after the introduction of the World Wide Web.
Access providers ISP
ISPs provide Internet access, employing a range of technologies to connect users to their network. Available technologies have ranged from computer modems with acoustic couplers to telephone lines, to television cable (CATV), wireless Ethernet (wi-fi), and fiber optics.
For users and small businesses, traditional options include copper wires to provide dial-up, DSL, typically asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), cable modem or Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) (typically basic rate interface). Using fiber-optics to end users is called Fiber To The Home or similar names.
For customers with more demanding requirements (such as medium-to-large businesses, or other ISPs) can use higher-speed DSL (such as single-pair high-speed digital subscriber line), Ethernet, metropolitan Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet, Frame Relay, ISDN Primary Rate Interface, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and synchronous optical networking (SONET).
Wireless access is another option, including cellular and satellite Internet access.
A mailbox provider is an organization that provides services for hosting electronic mail domains with access to storage for mail boxes. It provides email servers to send, receive, accept, and store email for end users or other organizations.
Many mailbox providers are also access providers, while others are not (e.g., Yahoo! Mail, Outlook.com, Gmail, AOL Mail, Po box). The definition given in RFC 6650 covers email hosting services, as well as the relevant department of companies, universities, organizations, groups, and individuals that manage their mail servers themselves. The task is typically accomplished by implementing Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and possibly providing access to messages through Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), the Post Office Protocol, Webmail, or a proprietary protocol.
Internet hosting services provide email, web-hosting, or online storage services. Other services include virtual server, cloud services, or physical server operation.
Tiers 1 and 2 ISP interconnections
Just as their customers pay them for Internet access, ISPs themselves pay upstream ISPs for Internet access. An upstream ISP usually has a larger network than the contracting ISP or is able to provide the contracting ISP with access to parts of the Internet the contracting ISP by itself has no access to.
In the simplest case, a single connection is established to an upstream ISP and is used to transmit data to or from areas of the Internet beyond the home network; this mode of interconnection is often cascaded multiple times until reaching a tier 1 carrier. In reality, the situation is often more complex. ISPs with more than one point of presence (PoP) may have separate connections to an upstream ISP at multiple PoPs, or they may be customers of multiple upstream ISPs and may have connections to each one of them at one or more point of presence. Transit ISPs provide large amounts of bandwidth for connecting hosting ISPs and access ISPs.
A virtual ISP (VISP) is an operation that purchases services from another ISP, sometimes called a wholesale ISP in this context, which allow the VISP's customers to access the Internet using services and infrastructure owned and operated by the wholesale ISP. VISPs resemble mobile virtual network operators and competitive local exchange carriers for voice communications.
Free ISPs are Internet service providers that provide service free of charge. Many free ISPs display advertisements while the user is connected; like commercial television, in a sense they are selling the user's attention to the advertiser. Other free ISPs, sometimes called freenets, are run on a nonprofit basis, usually with volunteer staff.
A wireless Internet service provider (WISP) is an Internet service provider with a network based on wireless networking. Technology may include commonplace Wi-Fi wireless mesh networking, or proprietary equipment designed to operate over open 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 4.9, 5.2, 5.4, 5.7, and 5.8 GHz bands or licensed frequencies such as 2.5 GHz (EBS/BRS), 3.65 GHz (NN) and in the UHF band (including the MMDS frequency band) and LMDS.
Domain Name System
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates more readily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for locating and identifying computer services and devices with the underlying network protocols. By providing a worldwide, distributed directory service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet, that has been in use since 1985.
The Domain Name System delegates the responsibility of assigning domain names and mapping those names to Internet resources by designating authoritative name servers for each domain. Network administrators may delegate authority over sub-domains of their allocated name space to other name servers. This mechanism provides distributed and fault tolerant service and was designed to avoid a single large central database.
The Domain Name System also specifies the technical functionality of the database service that is at its core. It defines the DNS protocol, a detailed specification of the data structures and data communication exchanges used in the DNS, as part of the Internet Protocol Suite. Historically, other directory services preceding DNS were not scalable to large or global directories as they were originally based on text files, prominently the HOSTS.TXT resolver.
The Internet maintains two principal namespaces, the domain name hierarchy and the Internet Protocol (IP) address spaces. The Domain Name System maintains the domain name hierarchy and provides translation services between it and the address spaces. Internet name servers and a communication protocol implement the Domain Name System. A DNS name server is a server that stores the DNS records for a domain; a DNS name server responds with answers to queries against its database
An often-used analogy to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, the domain name www.example.com translates to the addresses 188.8.131.52 (IPv4) and 2606:2800:220:6d:26bf:1447:1097:aa7 (IPv6). Unlike a phone book, DNS can be quickly updated, allowing a service's location on the network to change without affecting the end users, who continue to use the same host name. Users take advantage of this when they use meaningful Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), and e-mail addresses without having to know how the computer actually locates the services.
An important and ubiquitous function of DNS is its central role in distributed Internet services such as cloud services and content delivery networks. When a user accesses a distributed Internet service using a URL, the domain name of the URL is translated to the IP address of a server that is proximal to the user. The key functionality of DNS exploited here is that different users can simultaneously receive different translations for the same domain name, a key point of divergence from a traditional phone-book view of the DNS. This process of using the DNS to assign proximal servers to users is key to providing faster and more reliable responses on the Internet and is widely used by most major Internet services