Nigeria Will Attain 30% Broadband Penetration by 2018, NCC Insists

UMAR Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has expressed the desire of the commission to ensure that the country attains 30 percent broadband penetration before the end of 2018. He said as at March, the country’s broadband penetration was estimated at 22 percent, adding that most of the access was through wireless broadband.

Danbatta, who disclosed in Lagos, during the 10th anniversary lecture and awards of Business Journal with the theme: “Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Exploring the Strategic Alliance,” also noted that as part of the initiative to achieve the National Broadband Plan, NBP, target for broadband penetration, the commission had licensed and auctioned frequency spectrum to some new and existing licensees.

Some of the firms include Bitflux Communication Limited (Bitflux), MTN Communications Limited, Intercellular Nigeria Limited among others. He explained that the Mobile Network Operators, MNOs, have deployed about 52,000 kilometres of fiber optic cables as at April 2018.

Danbatta, who was represented at the event by Edoyemi Ogo, assistant director, Technical Standards, NCC, stated that there are about 33,000 2G, 29,000 3G and 4000 LTE sites deployed as at April 2018. He added that five international submarine cable and landing station services operators have landed cables in the country.

He noted that to ensure the continuous rollout of requisite infrastructure, 12 metropolitan fibre cable network companies and 12 national long distance operators had also been licensed.

Danbatta also said there was need to expedite the rollout of the fibre optic infrastructure across the country, adding that the commission had examined the open access model as the model for optic fiber transmission network deployment to bridge the current gap and deliver fast and reliable broadband services to households and businesses.

“To drive the process for the delivery of fast and reliable broadband services across the country, the commission established a Broadband Implementation and Monitoring Committee, BIMC. This committee is charged to drive the broadband infrastructure licencing and deployment using the open access model.

“Furthermore, the commission, through the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, is implementing the following access and connectivity programmes for the under-served and un-served areas across the country which include: BTRAIN-Backbone Transmission Infrastructure of over 3,250km of fiber across six geo-political zones-Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) :155 BTS sites,” he said.


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