The Association of Submarine Cable Operators of Nigeria (ASCON) was today launched at the 2018 Cable Protection Awareness Event held at Radisson blu, Victoria Island, Lagos themed, “The Protection of Submarine Cable Assets in Nigeria; the Silent Arteries of Our Socio-Political & Economic Development”, TechEconomy.ngcan authoritatively report.
Speaking during the official inauguration, the pioneer ASCON President, Mr. Ifeloju Alakija, said that establishing the Association was borne out of need to create a national advocacy forum for Nigerian companies and administrations that own and/or operate submarine telecommunications cables landing in the country.
The world of Submarine cable
“Our world has since migrated from an information communication era where satellite communication was once the backbone of international connectivity to an era where over 95% of the transoceanic internet traffic is via submarine optic cables.
“Submarine fibre optic cables are vital communication infrastructure arties which are unseen, unheard, hard at work, crossing the floors of the oceans of the world,which make up nearly 70% of the earth’s surface. Today, a vast web of submarine cable totaling over a million kilometres in length, interconnects the modern world, carrying 100s of millions of simultaneous calls and untold amounts of data, and ceaselessly performing at staggering capacities.
“In Nigeria, we have benefits of having five of such cables landing on our shore and delivering over 40 terabytes of internet traffic capacity. These cables are SAT3, MainOne Cable, Glo1 Cable, ACE Cable, and WACs Cable, landed by Natcom, MainOne, Glo1, Dolphin Telecom and MTN, respectively.
“The transformative benefits of having broadband available to all are clear, and include improved learning, increased job creation, better community and civic engagement, improved trade and commerce, and a positive impact on GDP”.
He said,although broadband has brought about significant contributions and improvements to the wel lbeing of the Nigerian populace over the last 15 years, “our nationis still yet to scratch the surface of the immense and unimaginable possibilities of socio-political and economic benefits of ubiquitous broadband, especially in the unserved and underserved areas”.
These, the ASCON President said, benefits widely from improved access to health services,agricultural best practices, online cheaper self-driven education, economic growth and development via improved commerce, and enhanced public safety and security measures.
“The protection of submarine optic cables is therefore of paramount importance, and we as a nation must pay attention to the protection of our submarine infrastructure that connect Nigeria with the rest of the world.
“The cable landing parties in Nigeria had at different times over the last eight years,individually and collectively engaged seabed and maritime stakeholders, most of whom are represented here today, on the significance of the submarine cable asset and the need for support and collaboration towards their protection.
“We have indeed benefitted from your guidance, inputs and support over the years. At this juncture, we have decided to formally establish an association- the Association of Submarine Cable Operators of Nigeria, which would serve to articulate our collective peculiarities and concerns and advocate our cause.
“The Principal objective of the ASCON President confirmed to TechEconomy.ng is to:
- Create a national advocacy forum for Nigerian companies and administrations that own and/or operate submarine telecommunications cables landing in the country.
- ASCON has been established to promote, encourage and assist in the protection of subsea cable infrastructure and ancillary equipment and facilities from marine activities, man-made and natural hazards.
- The association shall support and manage governmental and public/private sector collaboration, to ensure that the operations and maintenance of critical subsea communications assets are adequately protected and recognized in the development of rules and policies in Nigeria
The Pioneer Executives of ASCON
Members, Board of Trustees of ASCON include
- Funke Opeke (MD/CEO, MainOne;
- Uche Osuji (MTN Nigeria, GM, Network Performance & Quality Assurance) and
- Abdelraham Bashar (Deputy MD, ACE/Dolphine)
- Innocent Nwokwocha – (nTel)
The Executive Council of ASCON is made up of:
- Ifeloju Alakija- President (MainOne)
- Maxwell Eze – Vice President (MTN)
- Bolaji Mudashiru – General Secretary (ACE/Dolphin Telecom)
- Prosper Iredia Ogbagha – Publicity Secretary (Natcom SAT-3)
The President also told TechEconomy.ng that the association would equally serve as a forum for the exchange of technical, environmental and legal information pertaining to submarine systems operations and maintenance.