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Broadband: All is set for InfraCo licensees to roll out – Danbatta

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EVC of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta
Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has again stated that all is now in place for Internet broadband infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to roll out services across the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, stated this while speaking at a virtual conversation on the Socio-Economic and Political Impact of COVID-19 on Telecom and ICT Sector in Nigeria, organized by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) on Thursday, June 04, 2020.

Infracos by NCC

Infracos by NCC

The EVC reiterated that the Commission will not rest on its oars for speedy roll out of services by the InfraCos to ensure available, affordable and accessible broadband across the country.

He said that with the recent statement showing Federal Government’s commitment to protect telecom infrastructure and the Executive Order by State Governments harmonizing the price of Right of Way to N145 or outright removal of the price, the Commission is confident of the take of infrastructure deployment by the InfraCos.

ALSO READ: Broadband – N3b subsidy for InfraCos lying idle at NCC

TechEconomy.ng investigation shows that six InfraCo licences had been issued by the Commission.

They include;

  1. Raeana Nigeria Limited (South-South Zone);
  2. O’dua Infraco Resources Limited (South-West Zone);
  3. Fleek Networks Limited (North-West Zone);
  4. Brinks Integrated Solutions (North-East Zone);
  5. MainOne Limited (Lagos Zone) and
  6. Zinox Technologies Limited (South-East Zone).

To this end, the Commission said it is committed to ensure the InfraCo licensees visibly roll-out services latest by the end of first quarter next year (1Q2020).

Prof. Danbatta said:

“The congestion in the telecoms sector (network) that we are experiencing exposes the inadequacy of infrastructure that we have been talking about.

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“The telecoms service providers must be commended because in the face of this challenge of inadequacy of infrastructure they have at least provided services of reasonable quality. We hope and pray that this will continue despite the challenges.

“Also, this is the time for leveraging the redundancies in other to contain the challenges of (network) congestion. By redundancies, I mean infrastructure redundancies; that is fiber networks.

“Now, we are all convinced that there is infrastructure deficit in this country and the quickest way we can address this is to roll out fast; deploying more infrastructure through the InfraCos.

“Everything that is needed to commence the infrastructure projects in the various zones, have been done and very soon the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami will provide the exact time that these projects will kick-off.

“Also, the Government is studying the situations very well. At the same time, government is convinced in putting in place those measures that will drive the deployment of infrastructure that we are hoping to see.

“It is more important, right from the beginning, that the protection of telecom infrastructure is critical. Secondly, the issue of Right of Way (RoW). With the challenges of RoW no meaningful progress will be made even if we attend to deploy more infrastructure.

“By the Federal Government’s statement and what we have seen some State Government do by either sticking to the harmonized price of Right of Way or by waving it all together, I think we are making a statement that finally this country is ready to deploy infrastructure.

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“The operators are seeing that important step taken to ensure protection of infrastructure and reduction in CAPEX which will is evident in the slash in price of Right of Way by States”, he said.

Commending NCC’s impact in the industry, the President of ATCON, Engr. Olusola Teniola, said that the Commission’s efforts are paying off as indicated in the recent report released by the National Bureau of Statistics which shows telecoms and ICT sector now contributed 14.07% to the Gross Domestic Products in first quarter 2020.

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