NCC, Telcos want National Broadband Plan reviewed


Stakeholders in the telecommunications sector want the Nigerian government to review its national broadband plan urgently



With the expiration of the country’s five-year National Broadband Plan in December 2018, the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, and telecommunication operators, Telcos, have called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency, review the plan. This, among others, is to set another broadband target for the country.

Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, said the review became necessary, to enable Nigerian government tackle the growing demand for broadband access, which he said, has become a global phenomenon.

“For Nigeria to be fully digitised in 2019, government must raise broadband penetration level to 50 per cent at the end of 2019 and further raise it to 80 per cent by 2020, when we will be expecting 5G rollout,” he said.

Commending industry stakeholders for their contributions in attaining 30.9 percent broadband penetration, the NCC said it would not rest on its oars after meeting the country’s National Broadband Plan target for 2018, but would ensure its review that will set new target for Nigeria.

In a recent statement, the NCC had stated: “Finally, Nigeria cannot rest on its oars. It is important that the National Broadband Plan, which, incidentally expired last year 2018 be reviewed. As the Broadband Commission’s report noted, several countries are reworking their broadband targets to set performance indices in more targeted terms such as speed of service offered and percentage of coverage, penetration and accessibility to specific groups.

“It is important that Nigeria embrace this. The country may also need to re-examine its definition of “Broadband” and move from the current speed rate of 1.5/mbps to something more aggressive. It is tempting to simply suggest that Nigeria adopt speed limits set by other more developed economies. But that would be rather shallow. Speed and other targets need to be set in accordance with local conditions, and the earlier this is done, the better for Nigeria.”

The federal government in 2013 had issued the National Broadband Plan (2013-2018), which sets penetration targets for both fixed and mobile broadband throughout Nigeria but the country narrowly attained and surpassed the 30 per cent broadband target.

Of the many targets set by the document, the most prominent one was the projection that Nigeria must reach 30 percent broadband penetration by December 2018, which was achieved last year.

Having attained the feat, industry stakeholders are insisting that there is need for a review of the broadband plan, in order to set new and higher target for the industry.

– Jan. 11, 2019 @ 15:06 GMT |

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