Main One upbeat on broadband improvements
INTERNET| Jan. 25, 2012, 11:40 a.m.
Main One CEO Funke Opeke says her company is investing heavily in expending its infrastructure to cover under-served areas; building its own distribution infrastructure if necessary.
She says the investment has become imperative amid growing demand for better, more affordable internet across Nigeria.
"People know they want better access to the internet. They want it faster, cheaper, and they want to be able to drive new kinds of applications, access different types of content," she said.
Main One Cable Company is the first privately owned sub marine fibre optic cable company in West Africa to connect the sub-region with the rest of the world. It has laid a submarine cable over a distance of 7,000 kilometers along the West African coastline, with a capacity of 1.92 terabits a second and providing a high-speed, low-priced, reliable broadband.
However, Opeke noted recently that despite the big decrease in wholesale cost, consumers have not seen a difference in the price they pay.
"The people who own the distribution networks are not passing on the saving, there's no open-access distribution or common carriers like you would have in a developed market," she said.
She said that Main One Cable, which does not sell its capacity directly to homes or small and medium-size businesses, has also started investing in distribution infrastructure, building its own networks when it can't find "commercially reasonable rates. "The biggest challenge that we see is getting the capacity we have in this big pipe that we brought into Nigeria and Ghana across the region to reach the people and businesses where they need the service," she says.
Opeke further added that as part of Main One’s effort to ensure that Nigerians have increased access to broadband at even cheaper prices, the company has started a campaign for the development of national broadband policy. According to her, such a policy document will accelerate the ambitious push by the ITU as well to achieve its four-point agenda.
“At Main One, we have taken time to study the multifarious challenges facing the sector and which impedes efforts to enhance increased broadband access and penetration in the country. What we came up with was a document which has crystallised into a campaign for the enactment of a national broadband policy by the Federal Government. Such a policy must also accommodate input from industry players to ensure that the objectives are achieved. We think that a national broadband policy will set up the framework to remove the bottlenecks around last mile, collocation of facilities and right of way for the good of Nigerians”.
Main One says its push for enhanced national broadband access is already attracting support from other players in the sector as well as key stakeholders. The Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), during its last annual convention in 2011, called on the Federal to among other things, set in motion a machinery for the development of a national broadband policy.
In addition to championing calls for a national broadband policy, Main One has also commenced efforts to land another sub-marine cable in the Niger Delta region to extend access to the hinterlands of Southern Nigeria. Opeke says the project is capital intensive but it underscores Main One’s effort to break new grounds.
“We are already working round the clock to ensure that another fibre optic cable is landed in the Niger Delta any time soon. The project, when completed, will further drive down cost of broadband access and spur economic development in the region and the Southern part of the country. We believe that there is no better way of demonstrating our commitment to driving broadband penetration in Nigeria other than this,” Opeke added.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
Iconway introduces online shopping service with launch of PricePadi.comNigerian consumer internet company, Iconway today announces the launch of PricePadi.com, a new online shopping service that allows customers to search for and discover products available from different sources in Nigeria. Read More
NIG warns NCC against national frequency allocationThe Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) has warned the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) against allocating national frequencies to operators. Read More
DRC capital’s online media audiences increaseThe internet media’s audiences in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have gone up by 7% in 2014 to reach 35%. Read More
IoT and the channel: good news and bad newsThe Internet of Things (IoT) is set to create new business opportunities by making business processes more efficient while at the same time making channel business a bit more difficult, says Rectron. Read More
Ghana IT gets a boost with Surfline 4G LTEGhana’s internet growth is about is about to witness another massive boost as Surfline Communications Limited makes inroads into the ICT sector with the official introduction of its 4G Long-Term Evolution network in Accra. Read More
Jumia launches in CameroonPan-African e-commerce site Jumia has launched in Cameroon, taking to nine the number of countries where it is active. Read More
E-commerce: DRC not in race despite ICT enthusiasmDespite its recent ICT gains, DRC is still lagging on the e-commerce front, reports Issa Sikiti da Silva. Read More
Intelsat celebrates 50 yearsIntelsat today commemorates its 50th anniversary of providing critical telecommunications and video content distribution infrastructure for businesses, organizations and governments around the world. Read More
Ruckus Wireless expands presence in AfricaRuckus Wireless has appointed Westcon Africa as the newest member of its growing distributor network as part of the company’s continued expansion into Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYSafaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up
Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.