|Dr. Eugene Juwah|
The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said this at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, according to a statement made available to our correspondent on Monday by the Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka. Juwah said mouth-watering offers were waiting for investors in the Nigerian broadband infrastructure deployment programme using the Open Access Broadband strategy with the planned licensing of infrastructure companies that would provide a national broadband network on a non-discriminatory, open access and price regulated basis to all service providers. According to him, the one-off financial incentive to potential broadband investors is planned to enable penetration throughout the country.
He said, “We are going to fast-track the nation to a knowledge economy and the contributions of broadband to Gross Domestic Product growth will increase considerably. We have successfully completed the auction of the 2.3GHz spectrum and we have outlined a number of programmes under the broadband infrastructure framework, while licensing of infrastructure providers tagged: InfraCos, is about to begin.” “We are creating an enabling environment and incentives for the private sector to roll out broadband networks, which will be a one-off incentive for last mile to be achieved. We will replicate the success we made in voice in broadband plan as we proceed on the journey. “We are also going to license more retail services and encourage the operators where possible to extend fibre to homes and businesses on their own. Government is committed to providing incentives to winners of infrastructure licences.”
Juwah added, “We are ready to provide subsidy to simplify entry. However, such a subsidy will come on the basis of milestones achieved to ensure that we are realistic in the venture. “We have done quite well in the voice segment; but taking a look at the data segment, our Internet penetration rate currently is 32.9 per cent and our broadband penetration rate is 6.1 per cent; taking it to a higher speed broadband, this 6.1 per cent will disappear.”
According to the NCC boss, the InfraCos will enjoy support in the form of funding from the government to roll out nationwide broadband infrastructure.
Recasting the history and revolution of voice communication in Nigeria, Juwah said the nation would witness a boom in the broadband segment of the business as it had happened in the voice segment. The NCC boss said for Nigeria to be part of the 21st century knowledge economy, there was a need to leverage on the potential of broadband. He said broadband access in Nigeria would be adequately addressed through the establishment of the broadband networks in the metropolitan areas of the country to facilitate the extension of capacities to households and businesses.
The objective of this initiative, according to him, is to stimulate a new national broadband network that is not only more widespread, but also faster and more secure than what is available today. - See more at: http://reubenabati.com.ng/Broadband-Federal-Government-To-Offer-Financial.html#sthash.OWI4GgbZ.dpuf