At the AFRINIC virtual training program of Tuesday, 5th December 2023, organized by the Anambra State ICT Agency and the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), participants were enriched with insights into the process of obtaining an IP Address and an Autonomous System Number (ASN).
The training program was for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), as a follow-up on an initial engagement brokered with the ISPs and HEIs towards establishing an Internet Exchange Point in Anambra State.
The Anambra State ICT Agency, a critical partner on the initiative, is driving the initiative with support from the IXPN.
In a presentation on the crucial steps involved in obtaining an IP Address and Autonomous System Number, ASN, Mr. Uchechukwu Ugwuanyi, a seasoned Network Engineer with IXPN, underscored that financial capacity alone is inadequate for the acquisition of IP resources.
He emphasized the importance of proving the existence of a functional infrastructure through verifiable documentation, a prerequisite for eligibility. Additionally, applicants must articulate a well-defined plan for the use of allocated IP addresses, ensuring adherence to relevant policies.
The application process, as elucidated by Ugwuanyi, is estimated to take up to 30 minutes under normal circumstances.
However, he stressed the importance of timely payment within 45 days to avoid nullification of the application either for End User membership (EU) or Local Internet Registry (LIR).
Beyond the technicalities, Mr. Ugwuanyi passionately appealed to the Anambra State government to consider collaboration with interested Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs).
He called for the provision of grants to startups, recognizing the pivotal role such support would play in fostering innovation and reducing entry barriers in the Internet services sector.
Efforts by IXPN to explore the possibility of AFRINIC supporting small startups or ISPs were revealed, driven by the belief that reducing setup costs for these entities would contribute to more affordable internet, benefitting end-users.
Similarly, Ugwuanyi outlined the benefits of AFRINIC membership as follows: the seamless switch of upstream providers, independent management of internet routing registry, expansion of networks and services without protocols, and minimization of complexities.
Ugwuanyi also highlighted the leased nature of resources, cautioning that AFRINIC retains the right to revoke registration in case of default, emphasizing financial accountability.
Raphael Iloka, a Marketing Executive with IXPN, further emphasized the role of IXPN as a physical infrastructure connecting networks. He expounded on how this connectivity leads to a drop in the cost of transit and improved network performance.
Iloka also detailed the seamless process of becoming an IXPN member, emphasizing the potential for growth within the organization, including the opportunity to become a board member. “This explains why we pay membership fees quarterly because IXPN is a member-based organization”
“We trust that the guidelines you have received in this training will serve as a valuable resource that will aid you in becoming members of IXPN and solidify your position as an integral part of the global Internet fabric” he concluded.
The AFRINIC virtual training and insights shared by IXPN experts no doubt will significantly contribute to advancing the goals of internet connectivity and technological development in Anambra State.
The call for government support and exploration of avenues to assist startups also underscore a commitment to fostering a vibrant and inclusive digital landscape in the region.