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, etc. 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 the developments or its use. The Governance of the Internet has therefore become a major global issue.
While no one body governs the Internet, there are several agencies responsible for various aspects of it and its governance. Although there is currently no agreed universal definition of Internet Governance, the World Summit on Information Society organized by the United Nations, (WSIS) in 2006, came up with the following as a 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.
As Nigeria's regulator for the telecommunications industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission oversees the activities of all of the nation's service providers including providers of Internet services. A key objective of the Commission is to promote the provision of modern, efficient, reliable, affordable and easily accessible communications services and the widest range thereof throughout Nigeria, including the Internet, with policies and industry codes developed to address issues peculiar to the Nigeria and International best practices reviewed and adopted where they do not conflict with existing national laws.
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 multistakeholder 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.
The following is a listing of Internet related projects and initiatives the Commission has adopted for its Strategic Management Plan. Some of these are ongoing while some are proposed or planned for future dates.
- Provision of online portal for stakeholder consultation.
- Development of Infrastructure database to link Regional Internet Registry records.
- Development of Internet Code of Conduct.
- Development of National Internet Registry database.