By Benprince Ezeh
ONE of the achievements of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta is in the area of broadband penetration. The commission achieved and even surpassed its broadband penetration target of 30 percent before the end of December 2018.
This feat, which has been commended by all stakeholders in the country, is attributed to the implementation of the eight-point agenda of the commission. The implementation of the auspicious agenda gained a lot of traction such that broadband penetration further increased from 32.34 percent (indicating 61,732,130 Nigerians on 3G and 4G networks) to 37.87 percent (indicating 72,289,389 on 3G and 4G networks) between January 2019 and October 2019, respectively.
Since 2015, the NCC’s passion for pervasive broadband penetration is evident in its drive to facilitate broadband penetration, which tops its eight-point agenda. The commission has also articulated it clearly, at different fora, that access to broadband will become a fundamental metric for measuring economic development in Nigeria, as it will be central to the growth recorded in every other sector of the economy where telecoms would be propelling automation and digitisation.
Realnews reports that cognate efforts by the NCC in licensing new spectrum bands, re-farming certain frequency bands and driving initiatives for increased broadband infrastructure in the country, among others have collaboratively resulted in the consistent broadband growth. With increase in broadband penetration being recorded on a monthly basis, the Commission is well positioned to support the actualisation of the country’s digital economy policy strategy, as unveiled by the federal ministry of communications and digital economy late 2019. Just recently, the new National Broadband Plan Committee was inaugurated by Isa Pantami, minister, federal ministry of communications and digital economy, with the national mandate to come up with the new broadband target for 2020-2025.
Danbatta, at a forum recently said that Nigeria’s thirst for data has grown in significantly, largely to the generational change of telecommunications from the use of voice-dominated technologies (1G and 2G) to today’s data dominated technologies of 3G, 4G and even the much-talked-about 5G. According to him, without doubt, more virtualised engagements are happening online and will continue to be, as it does appears the citizens have an insatiable need for data.
“Nigerians need robust and pervasive broadband connectivity more than ever before in today’s world, where people can easily interact with an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), carry out activities around e-commerce, e-government, and telemedicine, among others on a daily basis in a seamless manner, thereby boosting their efficiencies”, Danbatta said.
– Jan. 14, 2020 @ 17:39 GMT |