NCC chief unfurls broadband plan
GOVERNMENT| Aug. 6, 2012, 8:22 a.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria’s efforts to join the global broadband community has crystallized into a focused master plan unfolded by the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, at the Nigerian Broadband Forum at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.
The Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure, commended the government for its support for broadband connectivity.
The plan as unveiled by the Commission has, more or less, confirmed the ‘Open Access Model’ earlier indicated by the Commission as Dr. Juwah presented a clearer perspective on the plan, which, he said, encompasses the current State Accelerated Broadband Initiative, SABI, and the Wire Nigeria Initiative, WIN, programmes of the Commission.
“The Open Access Model is expected to help Nigerian’s plug into the global knowledge grid and stay competitive with other countries”, he said.
The key elements driving the objective focus on open access deployment of fibre infrastructure, according to Dr. Juwah, is to achieve high level of penetration across all geo-political zones, contribute to GDP growth and development of knowledge economy, provide commpetitive and affordable pricing, ensure intelligent incentives to support industry players while equipping Nigeria with leading infrastructure in Africa.
The ultimate imperatives for this objective, he said, is to realize affordable prizing, high speed connectivity, high level of coverage and targetted government support.
Dr. Juwah spoke to an international audience including Nigeria’s Communications Technology Minister Omobola Johnson, Representative of the ITU Secretary General, Desire Karyabwite, the Secretary of the Africa Telecommunications Union, ATU, Abdoulkarim Soumaila, and a wide range of experts and Nigerian stakeholders. He said the plan was focused on accelerated broadband connectivity at affordable rates.
The message of the ITU Secretary General was relayed to the forum on video, where he commended the efforts of the drivers of Nigeria’s broadband efforts and encouraged the government to support every effort directed towards broadband availability in Nigeria as this is the focus of the global ICT community.
Dr. Juwah, who dissected a graphic representation of Nigeria’s model, said the essence of the presentation was to equip stakeholders and the investor community on the direction of the plan to enable their input before the implementation, having completed the preliminary studies of the Nigerian situation.
Dr. Juwah also presented a stakeholder mapping where the Commission would be responsible for provision of licenses, regulation of services, facilitation of agreements. This relationship is guided by an indsutry structure of the open access model of the type being implemented in Australia.
In explaining the market service structure in the Nigerian model, Dr. Juwah said it involves the provision of non discriminatory broadband access and services to end users, and provision of e non-discriminatory equal wholesale broadband connectivity using active infrastructure, while NetCos build and operate passive infrastructure.
Dr. Juwah said the integration of the SABI and WIN in the current plan was to expand the horizon in the pursuit of the mandate of the Commission to promote the provision of modern universal efficient, reliable, affordable, and easily accessible communications services of the widest range throughout Nigeria”.
Dr Toure emphasized the need for establishment of transparent and effective regulatory framework and policy for broadband development in Nigeria.
Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson had earlier assured of the support of the Federal government towards this initiative with a planned setting up of a Presidential Committee on Broadband deloyment while indicating that appropriate pricing and availability is critical in achieving universal access to Broadband, especially in rural areas. Global phenomenon such as the scissors effect and economic recession pose significant threat to the capacity to finance broadband infrastructure developments. Stakeholders at the event concluded among other things that:
• Broadband would facilitate the growth and availability of innovative and evolving ICT services which will increase the national GDP.
• Provision of incentives by government will stimulate investments in Broadband deployment similar to the tax exemption granted to GSM operators at the inception of GSM mobile services in Nigeria.
•Recent study shows that there is huge demand gap for broadband services in Nigeria. However, there is insufficient infrastructure to support the provision of broadband to meet the demand.
They also concluded that: strong government and political commitment towards broadband provision is required and that migration to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology will require high-level investment. It was also recommended that spectrum congestion will need to be addressed through variety of available options, while 4G frequency spectrum will need to be licensed by 2015.
One of the conclusions reached at the forum as part of the processes for provision of robust broadband services in Nigeria was that rapid deployment and availability of broadband will lead to the introduction of innovative services.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policyThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More
No deal with MTN on fine, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s Communications Technology Minister says no concrete deal has been sealed in respect of the fine imposed on MTN. Read More
CA rejects misleading reports on Essar saleThe Chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya board of directors, Ngene Gituku, has refuted allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct around the sale of Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd. Read More
Smart Africa seeks One Africa NetworkICT Ministers and telecoms regulatory bodies meeting in Kigali have resolved to implement the new One Africa regional telecommunications framework initiative this year. Read More
Kenyan mobile operators fail on QoS targetsThe Communications Authority of Kenya says Kenya’s mobile operators have failed to meet Quality of Service standards for the third year running. Read More
Glo Ghana sanctioned for call setup time delaysThe Ghana NCA says it has sanctioned Ghana’s sixth network operator, Glo, for failing in its Call Setup Time obligation within the Greater Accra region. Read More
Facebook post costs Kenyan $50000A social media user in Kenya has been fined Kshs 5million for allegedly defaming a member of parliament on social media; in a ruling that will set a precedent on any future internet cases in Kenya. Read More
BTCL lists on local bourseA journey that began close to a decade ago has culminated in the first successful privatisation of a Botswana state entity – BTCL. Read More
Huawei appointed lead ICT consultant for UgandaHuawei has been appointed as a lead ICT consultant in Uganda, and has named ten Ugandans to benefit from its Seeds for the Future development programme. Read More
FEATURED STORYCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs
The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSRSA research reveals blind spots in threat detection
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, has released the results of a new Threat Detection Effectiveness Survey.Networks Unlimited event highlights SimpliVity's new Omnistack Software
Leading data protection focused distributor invites hyperconverged vendor to discuss disaster recovery and data protection.