- TERF gathers staksholders to discuss on way forward for ‘broadband Nigeria’
Today, Professor Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), reminded stakeholders in the information and communications technology sector that the optimal deployment of broadband infrastructures through the Infraco model in the face of existing broadband infrastructure challenges is critical to driving broadband availability, accessibility and affordability in the country.
Prof. Danbatta in a keynote address at the Telecom Executives & Regulators Forum (TERF) on the subject: ‘Broadband Penetration in Nigeria-Perspectives from the Communication Regulator’, notes that the Commission is not resting on its oars to ensure glitches inhibiting smooth roll out of broadband services by operators, are mitigated.
The EVC who was represented by Deputy Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at the Commission, Engineer Bako Wakil, assured the industry that InfraCo licensees for the six geo-political zones of the country will soon be announced, as they are on the last stage of the process.
Similarly, the Commission has been working with MainOne, winners of the Lagos InfraCo license, for speedy roll out of services in the mega city.
He however, called on parties involved to support the Commission in its bid for available, affordable and efficient broadband penetration in the country hence “Broadband industry ecosystem comprises of Government Policies and Programmes, Regulatory Frameworks and Environment, Supply and Demand sides of the services”.
Speaking on current status of broadband infrastructure in Nigeria, the EVC enumerated, “Adequate international bandwidth from International Submarine Cable landings at our shores; Inadequate metro fiber infrastructure in several towns and cities; Distribution and last mile challenges; Over 50,000 km of inter -City Fiber laid already; Sub-optimal inter-city fibre capacity utilization due to duplications of some fibre routes and Internet access is mainly through wireless means,” as notable factors in the industry.
Nigeria’s current telecoms landscape
- Teledensity was 99.93 as at September, 2017
- Active Mobile subscriber base was 139,905,213 million as at September, 2017
- Internet Penetration Rate was 50% (92.975,682 Million subs)as at September, 2017
- Broadband Penetration Rate was 21% as at February, 2017 (OpenSignal)
NCC Broadband Infrastructure Initiative, “The NCC will continue to drive and support high speed broadband connectivity to end user through various initiatives such as: License InfraCos on a regional basis to provide metropolitan fibre and wholesale transmission services on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis;
“2.3GHz spectrum has been licensed for wholesale wireless last mile services; On-going discussions with various levels of Government to facilitate speed in processing permits, harmonisation of tax regimes and ease of deployment of infrastructure, including streamlining RoW charges; Enhance competitionin the market and improve consumer choices; Institute price caps for leased transmission capacity to address anti- competitive pricing and Auction and assign required spectrum for wireless and mobile broadband on an open and transparent basis”, he adds.
The EVC further explains that optimal deployment of broadband infrastructures through the Infraco model in the face of existing broadband infrastructure challenges is critical to driving broadband availability, accessibility and affordability in Nigeria.