Remove barriers in broadband penetration ATCON advises FG

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The president of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, has called for early engagement of relevant stakeholders including states’ governors so as to quicken the removal of all identified barriers hobbling the faster penetration of broadband.

In an interview on how best to even surpass the set target of 30 per cent for 2018, he said “If we want to attain the benchmark set we need to accelerate the removal of barriers that exists in Rights of Way (RoW) permits, reduce the costs associated with fiber deployment across the country and create a compelling reason that brings much needed funds from the private sector to Nigeria to build the infrastructure that will enable this to happen.

“These were some of the underlying assumptions that were prerequisite during the drawing up of the NBP in 2012 and supported holistically by the industry at that time as the only way forward to realistically achieve and surpass the 30% target.

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According to him, “When we look at the situation we found ourselves in terms of broadband in 2012 when the National Broadband Plan (NBP) was written, it was evident that a combination of 3G and 4G networks at a level of 80% network coverage for 3G and 50% for 4G will suffice to achieve the minimum 30% at speeds of 1.5Mbps download for the right consumer experience that will create an increase in productivity and this may positively impact our GDP by another 1.x %.

However, the regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reassured industry stakeholders that Nigeria will meet and even surpass the 30% target, given its commitment to the facilitation of broadband penetration, enshrined in its 8-Point Agenda, unveiled three years ago.

Besides, the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited said that surpassing the 30% broadband penetration target by December 2018 is possible if public and private sector operators in the country key into its ongoing Ka-VSAT deployment.

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