The National Universities Commission (NUC) of Nigeria has started a procurement process for a backbone for the Nigerian Research and Education Network (ngREN). In this initial campus interconnection phase, the project office is inviting bids for IP/MPLS based network infrastructure and services linking 27 Federal institutions. In a complementary World Bank international competitive bid, ngREN is also looking to procure a network management centre in Abuja and multimedia infrastructure and services .
ngREN benefits from an NUC collaboration with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in its Tertiary Institutions Access Program to develop a broadband network to support teaching and learning with voice, data and multimedia services. Under the auspices of its Universities Inter-Campus Connectivity (UniCC) project, the first phase of ngREN support from the USPF will establish optic fiber links between 17 selected universities and their corresponding medical colleges and teaching hospitals.
The project has invited bids for installing ducting with fiber optic cabling and equipment with a strategic intent to ensure that where feasible, main sites and their alternates are connected via ngREN owned ducting and cabling infrastructure. The NUC STEP-B Project manager and Head of ICT Projects, Dr Joshua Atah who is also a member of the WACREN infrastructure committee in a recent meeting spoke of the palpable excitement in the community at the prospect of high capacity links between their campuses and to the global research and education community.