NCC chief unfurls broadband plan

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: ATU Secretary General Abdoulkarim Soumaila, NCC head Eugene Juwah, Minister Omobola Johnson, and Desire Karyabwite of the ITU. By Kokumo Goodie
ATU Secretary General Abdoulkarim Soumaila, NCC head Eugene Juwah, Minister Omobola Johnson, and Desire Karyabwite of the ITU

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Online condolences flood in for Sata

Zambians and non-Zambians have flooded social media sites with condolences over the death of the country’s president Michael Sata at the age of 77. Read More

Harnessing support for Government to leverage Open Source

Free Open Source Software (FOSS) has huge potential to be an enabler for effective service delivery, says T-Systems. Read More

Rwanda to fast-track cashless society

The Government of Rwanda has moved to accelerate its plans to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy. Read More

Senegal moves to protect citizens’ personal data

Senegal has launched a major public consultation exercise to seek practical and operational solutions to protect its citizens’ personal information, and promote the development of the digital economy. Read More

Rwanda re-elected member of ITU Council

Rwanda has been re-elected a member state of the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 2014-2018.  Read More

Tanzania’s 2014-2025 energy reform roadmap to success

Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals has published an Electricity Supply Industry Reform Strategy and Roadmap for 2014 to 2025. Read More

ICT put to good use in Botswana elections

Botswana voters went to the polls today in an election that that been characterised by innovative ICT use. Read More

Presidential candidates say no to BTCL privatisation

Former Malawian president Joyce Banda graced the live Gabz FM Botswana presidential candidates debates at Westwood primary school, where the two presidential candidates present say the BTCL IPO is in vain.  Read More

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT addresses ITU Plenipotentiary Conference

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, today addressed the 19th International Telecommunication Union plenipotentiary conference in South Korea. Read More

UNDP donates ICT equipment for DRC elections

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated ICT equipment to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support the electoral process in this war-hit Central African nation. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Growing African focus on data securityGrowing African focus on data security

Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.  

COMPANY NEWS

Schneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie

Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year. 

SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter

SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.