Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is to certify more broadband operators to complement existing ones in order to achieve the 30 per cent broadband penetration target of the Federal Government as enshrined in its National Broadband Plan (NBP).
According to Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman/chief executive officer (EVC/CEO), NCC, who was represented by Mr Fidelis Onah, NCC director of Technical Standard and Network Integrity, stated this in Lagos, during the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) annual Middle East and Africa (MEA) Conference and Exhibition. He said part of the plan of the Commission was to complete the licensing of infrastructure providers (Infracos), adding that two operators have been licensed to offer services in Lagos and Northcentral Zone under Phase 1 licensing round.
Danbatta further stated that the availability of infrastructure remained the backbone for affordable, reliable and ubiquitous broadband services across the country. He said the commission was already putting in place the required infrastructure to accelerate broadband penetration.
He said: “The NCC will continue to drive and support high speed connectivity and infrastructure which is the bedrock of ICT growth and development to end users through initiative such as license Infracos on a regional basis to provide fibre and wholesale transmission services on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis. Phase 2 licensing of Infracos for the remaining five geopolitical zones will commence soon. NCC will create an enabling environment for easy and efficient deployment of fibre optics transmission network; continue ongoing talks and discussions with various levels of government to facilitate speed in the processing of permits, harmonisation of tax regimes and ease of deployment of infrastructure including right of way charges; enhance competition in the market and improving consumer choices; classification of telecoms infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure.
“The mobile revolution is still ongoing. The broadband revolution is about to commence; the solid metro and backbone ICT infrastructure required to carry and sustain the huge amount of data to be generated is already being planned to be put in place. This will yield the growth, development and increase in GDP that is necessary for Nigeria to take her place in the league of ICT savvy nations.” He said
He said it took effective distribution of infrastructure to have services permeate all nooks and crannies of the country.