Professor Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that the broadband agenda remains top priority on its developmental agenda for the nation’s ICT sector.The EVC said 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, says.
The remarks were contained in a keynote address delivered on his behalf by Engineer Bako Wakil, deputy director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at the Commission, 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 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.
According to him, NCC will continue to work with InfraCo licensees such MainOne, winners of the Lagos InfraCo license that are already rolling out of services in the State.
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.
He gave Nigeria’s current telecoms landscape as teledensity stands at 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.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, Mr. Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON, said the Association strongly believes in knowledge sharing that will further stimulate the accelerated development of our industry.
“We need to succeed in further winning the confidence of the international community to see Nigeria as a preferred investment destination in Africa. This is why we consider it a worthwhile venture to continually engage ourselves in programmes that would enable us advance the frontiers telecommunications/ICT in Nigeria.
“We congratulate the Nigerian Communications Commission for its excellent regulatory role which has put the Nigerian telecom sector on the world map. We also express our sincere gratitude to all our sponsors and supporters. We immensely appreciate all the resource persons for their mammoth contributions, and of course, all the participants for creating time out of their busy schedules to be in this forum”.
Source:Nigeria Communication Week