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
Schoolboy named SA’s Social Media Star of 2014.Schoolboy Nadav Ossendryver, who founded the Kruger Sightings website when he was just 15, has been awarded for building his wildlife sightings service into the most viewed YouTube channel based in South Africa. Read More
Pamoja, Symantec unite on African cloud ecosystemPamoja, a leading cloud services company and aggregator for Symantec’s cloud range of security services, will, together with Symantec, host a partner information session in Nairobi, Kenya to launch their cloud services. Read More
1bn minutes through Nigerian interconnect exchange carriersWorld Telecom Labs (WTL) today announced that more than 1 billion minutes have passed through its specialist 2nd generation VoIP switches deployed by five of Nigeria’s interconnect exchange carriers. Read More
SEACOM introduces NAPAfrica Remote Peering serviceSEACOM has launched a NAPAfrica Remote Peering service that enables NAPAfrica members connected to at least one NAPAfrica exchange point to easily peer with all NAPAfrica exchange point members, across SEACOM’s South African IP/MPLS backbone. Read More
Scribes seek freedom in cyberspaceJournalists from the Southern African bloc were in Botswana for deliberations on the findings of an earlier survey on “Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace.” Read More
Demystifying LTEWhat is LTE really, how does it benefit the consumer and is there a downside to this technology? DCC explains. Read More
AccessKenya bullish on regional cloud marketAccessKenya Group has announced a new market push for Cloud Services in East Africa. Read More
Botswana wholesale internet pricing reducedBotswana Fiber Networks (BoFiNet) and Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL) have reduced the wholesale internet pricing by up to 70% so far. Read More
Facebook hits 100m user milestone in AfricaFacebook has announced that as of June 2014, there are 100 million people coming to Facebook every month across the African continent, with over 80% on mobile. Read More
FEATURED STORYMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers
Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIG President speaks his mind
Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.
COMPANY NEWSVMware announces general availability of new solutions for building, managing and protecting softwar
VMware has announced the general availability of VMware NSX 6.1, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.8, VMware vCloud Suite 5.8, VMware vRealize Operations Insight, VMware vRealize Suite ...