Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the free wireless service provided by Google Station is safe to use. Sunday Dare, NCC’s executive commissioner, stakeholder management, made this known while speaking to journalists, adding that contrary to speculations, the service complies with the appropriate regulatory requirements.
“Contrary to misconception in some quarters, the Commission will ensure that the service provided will continue to be in partnership with NCC licensed service providers within its regulatory oversight,” he said.
“NCC has engaged with both Google and the NCC’s licensed Internet Service Providers on whose respective platforms the Google Station Service is being rolled out. “The NCC is satisfied that objective of the Google Station Service is to provide more Nigerians with access to the internet, and we see that Google is working towards this mission by partnering with local ISPs to bring free and fast Wi-Fi to more people in more places.”
The NCC commissioner described the service as one that benefits all players in the ecosystem. “The Google Station service is being delivered under a partnership model that enables local internet service providers (ISPs), system integrators, and venue owners to efficiently offer a public Wi-Fi experience, reducing the cost of deployment, operations and ongoing support.
“This initiative by Google Station and its local ISP partners delivers free Wi-Fi hotspots in public transport and other high traffic areas. This supports governments’ policy goals championed in this regard by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and it will further assist to achieve government’s inclusion objectives. This is why it enjoys the support of the NCC.”
Google Station WiFi was launched in 2018. It allows registered users to enjoy free WiFi internet access at selected hotspots by merely registering their smartphones for the service. It, however, generated some controversy following allegations that the NCC may not have approved the service and that it could have negative impacts on national security and competition in the telecoms space.