Galaxy Backbone Limited was uniquely built as a national resource to lead country-wide digital inclusion drive, says the MD/CEO, Professor Muhammad Abubakar.
The MD/CEO was a Guest Speaker at the 2020 EKO-KONNECT Users Conference in Lagos.
He was represented by the General Manager, Customer Operations & Services at Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Frank Ugbodaga, who delivered his paper on ‘Development of ICT Infrastructure for National Education Research & Learning’.
Galaxy Backbone, an agency under the Federal Ministry Of Communication & Digital Economy, was established in 2006 based on the need for the government to pursue a coordinated and harmonized approach to information and communications technology acquisition, operation and use in the public sector.
He said that the recently signed joint venture agreement between Galaxy Backbone Limited and the Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative (Eko-Konnect) is a testimony to the robust backbone network the Company has built to foster connectivity, research and education which are critical elements of economic development.
The collaboration was expected to boost reliable high-speed connectivity, access to research outputs, teaching, and learning materials for tertiary education in Nigeria.
Prof. Abubakar said that Galaxy Backbone, wholly-owned enterprise of the federal government, will continue to leave up to its mandate by providing ICT infrastructure and services to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as tertiary institutions.
He said that as the largest public sector backbone provider, the Company is a giant in collaboration and aggregate partnerships for value addition and digital services which will support and help actualize the 8 pillars of the National Broadband Policy designed by the Honourable Minister Of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami.
“Galaxy Backbone Limited has robust infrastructure. Today, we account for 13% of all fibre optic cables laid in Nigeria which is around 37,000 kilometres. Therefore, Galaxy Backbone is positioned to support rapid development of ICT infrastructure for education, research and learning hence the partnership with Eko Konnect.
“GBB represents a ready-made backbone which the government and private organisations can leverage. We also represent the platform for linking national, regional and global research network and knowledge clusters. So, we are happy to be part of the arrangement.
Galaxy Backbone has agreed to provide datacentre services and a fibre-optic cable transport network through which Eko-Konnect would interconnect campuses and provide a number of, “above the net” scholarly communication services including a real-time collaboration platform, trust and identity framework, develop relevant cloud services and pilot a shared research product repository.
In the first project commencing immediately, the joint venture will establish the hubs in Enugu and Awka, interconnect nearby institutions in Eastern Nigeria to peers in the Lagos area and environs, and counterparts in the global research network through the West and Central Research and Education Network (WACREN).
Chairman, Eko-Konnect Board of Trustees, Prof. Charles Uwadia, welcomed the collaboration saying “This development gives the much-needed impetus to the several initiatives providing services for research and education communities in Nigeria.
Eko-Konnect is a community-driven initiative which promotes the establishment of research clusters in geo-political regions of Nigeria, interconnected via a backbone to provide the high-speed networks that are essential for sharing, accessing and processing the high data volumes generated by research and education communities.