Nigeria has achieved 30% broadband penetration – NCC

The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) says Nigeria has met the 30% Broadband Penetration.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Dare disclosed this at an interactive Session with journalists in Abuja. According to Mr. Dare, the NCC has publicly released the data for everyone to interrogate. He said that doubters are merely citing old reports from the ITU forgetting that NCC provides the data that ITU uses. He said, “We are custodians of data, and we have specialized methods of measuring. Based on empirical data, we have met and surpassed the target. Interestingly, no one has disapproved our data, which leaves one to question the motives of those who are saying we have not met the target”.

Mr. Dare also stated that NCC has not neglected fixed Broadband in favor of mobile Broadband maintaining that the National Broadband Plan has both mobile and fixed components, and NCC is exerting action on both directions.

He also disclosed that fixed Broadband requires laying of cables and one needs Right of Way (RoW) permits which are controlled by State Governments.  He further stated that for many years, the industry has been battling with the issue of inordinately high charges for RoW, long delays in granting permits, and destruction of fibre cables during road constructions, incessant stop work orders, etc. According to Mr. Dare, a Former Minister once said that over 50% of the costs of fibre deployments go to paying taxes and charges. He noted that with this situation getting worse, the environment is not conducive for the private sector to invest. To find solutions to this, Mr. Dare revealed that NCC is not only constantly engaging with state Governors through NEC, the Governors forum, etc. But have also stepped in directly by licensing infraCos to provide fibre bandwidth on an open access basis with output subsidy to mitigate their costs. While acknowledging that NCC expect these efforts to start bearing fruit he also noted that the major and critical thing is the support of the state Governors.

According to the Executive Commissioner, the NCC cannot dictate to the 36 states of the federation what to charge for RoW, but can only persuade and hope they see the superior merit and long term benefits of making their states receptive to telecom infrastructures