THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has identified broadband access as the key to national development agenda. The commission said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, NBP, 2013 has set a target of 30 percent penetration by 2018 and the commission is working to achieve the target.
Speaking at the 27th session of African Regional Internet Registry, AFRINIC, in Lagos on Tuesday, November 28, Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, said the commission recognised its prime responsibility in the actualisation of the NBP. He said the NBP was one of the strategic objectives revered in its 8-Point Agenda, ‘facilitation of broadband penetration’ which would enable NCC meet and even surpass the 30 percent target of broadband penetration in the country by 2018.
According to Danbatta, as at September 2017 (Broadband Commission 2017), the Nigeria broadband penetration stood at 21.8 percent. In this regard, he said the commission’s efforts in the actualisation of increased broadband penetration in Nigeria could be seen in the way of its operation. Thus, according to him, two slots in the 700MHz band have been earmarked for commercial Broadband deployment; the 800MHz band also known as the Digital Dividend 1 has been re-planned and licensed for 4G Long Term Evolution, LTE, deployment, and the 900MHz E-GSM band has been licensed for 4G LTE deployment.
Others are 70/80GHz band (E-Band) which has been opened to facilitate Broadband deployment; 2.3 GHz band was licensed for 4G LTE deployment, and part of the 1800MHz band which has been re-farmed by some Mobile Operators for 4G LTE deployments. “This means that there is enormous potential for growth and investment. There has been amazing progress in the development of IXPs in Africa but still much to be done to improve national and cross-border interconnection within the region, also further consolidate data, and enable Africa to collaborate more on data management within the region, as well as develop its data and privacy framework to enable the region even further collaborate globally to address the new digital era.
“To support emerging technologies, we need to create an enabling environment for IPv6 deployment. We need to engage more in the area of Internet Governance and other similar initiatives from national to sub-regional to regional and global to contribute and share best practices that can help to grow the internet. I acknowledge the effort of internet society and the stakeholders in helping the development of internet in the African region,” Dambatta said.
The NCC boss further said it had been acknowledged that taking internet to the next level required collaboration, education and sensitisation. To this, he said, the NCC was committed to supporting the African internet industry as much as possible with provision of good regulatory policies in Nigeria, which would ensure availability, affordability and accessibility to high speed internet that would drive emerging technologies and deployment of more services.
“I urge all the participants to take full advantage of the opportunity this meeting offers, as it will ensure and support the sustainability of the ongoing or projected developments for the Industry. I want to express my appreciation to the host of this meeting (NiRA) for inviting me, and all partnering organizations for their support, and AFRINIC for giving Nigeria the opportunity to host this meeting for the second time,” he said.
– Nov. 29, 2017 @ 12:36 GMT