Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) has licensed six infrastructure companies(infraco) for the deployment of broadband fiber across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, announced this at a Regional Broadband Engagement Forum in Kano yesterday.
According to him, the companies had been licensed to deploy services covering South East, South West, Lagos, North West and North East Zones of the country, disclosing that they have re- advertised the license for the North Central Zone following the refusal of the licensed company to undertake the assignment.
He stressed that the implementation of the program across Nigeria would be firmly monitored to ensure an equitable deployment of the infrastructure as well as to avoid duplication of the fiber in places where it is already in existence.
“ We know where we have fibers and where we do not. It would be targeted at places where we do not have these fibers” he stated.
He admitted that the nation’s current penetration level of about 20 per cent is well below best, while assuring that the Commission would do every thing possible to provide the necessary regulatory framework and infrastructure that would improve the coverage.
The Executive Vice Chairman disclosed that NCC has already inaugurated an implementation committee, which would monitor the deployment exercise and sensitize critical stakeholders, especially the various state government on its necessity.
He recalled that their previous attempts to lay the fibers across Nigeria had suffered from challenges such as objection by some communities, multi taxation at the state level and delay in securing permission from the affected organization at the state level.
He, therefore, appealed for support from various state governments and critical stakeholders.
He expressed optimism that expanding the nation’s broadband penetration would result in a gradual, but enormous transformation of the Nigerian society by opening up key sectors of the society like education, health, politics and economy,