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For 'Connected Nigeria', Govt targets 2015 to deliver affordable broadband

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By Technology Times Staff Reporters

 

Lagos. November 19, 2012: The Federal Government has set an ambitious target of 2015 to realise the vision of delivering affordable broadband services to connect Nigeria and stimulate the economy.For 'Connected Nigeria', Govt targets 2015 to deliver affordable broadband    1

Under the plan, government is looking to driving the troika of accessible, affordable and available high-speed Internet that will foster innovation, job creation and overall national economic growth.

The government plan forms the key highlights of the Nigerian Broadband Forum (NBF) convened recently by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to formulate a roadmap for sustainable broadband growth to stimulate the economy.

Under the plan, the Federal Government will free up additional frequency spectrum by 2013 to realise the national drive towards boosting broadband services across the country.

The forum identified the strategic contributions of broadband in national economic growth underscoring that stakeholders across the ecosystem need to accord priority to foster its growth for economic development.

President Goodluck Jonathan recently inaugurated a Presidential Broadband Committee vested with the responsibilities to develop a road map plan to promote pervasive access across the country.

Industry players see broadband as the next phase of growth in a telecoms market counting over 107 million active connections at Q3 2012.

According to the forum, there is need to replicate the revolution in voice telephony experienced a decade ago in the provision of broadband across the Nigerian socio-economic landscape.

Meanwhile, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in a presentation at the event underscores the need for the establishment of transparent and effective regulatory framework and policy for broadband development in Nigeria.

Appropriate pricing and availability is critical in achieving universal access to broadband, especially in rural areas, operators were charged.

The telecoms regulator proposed three road maps on broadband business models including the utility, equal access and passive infrastructure models.

To facilitate the development of broadband in Nigeria, the model being proposed for adoption is the equal access model and is similar to the model implemented in countries like Singapore and Australia, says NCC.

According to the forum, government needs to provide enabling environment for the development of infrastructure that will support the growth and access to broadband services at affordable cost to consumers.

This will happen with the availability of spectrum in the 2GHz band to drive mobile broadband penetration and availability in Nigeria.

The forum also reemphasized the need for concerted government efforts at both Federal and State level to solve the problem associated with right of way through provision of ducts along highways, elimination of double taxation will help drive down capital expenditure.

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