Home > Electrical/Electronics > The NCC’s Proposed Strategies To Foster Efficiency And Growth In The Nigerian Broadband Ecosystem

The NCC’s Proposed Strategies To Foster Efficiency And Growth In The Nigerian Broadband Ecosystem

During the 14th Distinguished Electrical and Electronics Engineer Annual Lecture (DEEEAL) and Special Fellowship Conferment event themed “Addressing Nigeria’s Telecoms Infrastructure Deficit – Driving the Deployment of Broadband Network by the NCC”, that held recently, key issues bordering on the state of the broadband ecosystem in Nigeria were brought to light. With existing infrastructure in this space there has seemed to be some challenges still hampering optimal growth in this sphere. The respective challenges that have been implicated for the underutilization of the current broadband infrastructure were highlighted as a lack of adequate investments, issues when it comes to policies and taxes, including epileptic power supply, vandalism of existing structures, among others.

In line with the challenges, adequate solutions were stated in the way of the InfraCo project, an initiative by the National Broadband Network (NBN), which embodies the Open Access Model strategy adopted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that connectivity is established in “every Local Government Area (LGA) of the Federation with a capacity of 10 Gbps”. This is to be achieved by licensing InfraCos, one for each geopolitical zone plus one to serve Lagos state. This project is structured to be deployed annually over four years and would span 28,902km across the six zones. It is believed that this strategy would help to bridge the connectivity gap currently experienced by about 38 million Nigerians.

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Strategies to foster Spectrum Utilization by the commission included optimization of existing wireless networks through re-farming, re-planning, auctioning of new ones, and boosting of the broadband capacity delivery by adopting the Spectrum Trading Framework and starting the process of developing guidelines on active infrastructure sharing. Not forgetting the role of satellite infrastructure “the NCC has granted the first Landing Permit to a Space Segment Satellite Operator which will bring enormous broadband capacity to Nigeria”.

As regard investments in the sector, the need and urgency for it cannot be overemphasized seeing that the Nigerian market is a steadily growing one with proportional demand, therefore the commission is also putting in several efforts such as leveraging key international events to make presentations on the structures being put in place in the country evidenced in the commission’s roadmap for growth to access the pockets of foreign investors while fostering the participation of local investors.

Other solutions to the plethora of challenges in the sector were addressed indepthly such as the Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs), Rural Broadband Initiative (RUBI), and University Inter-Campus Connectivity (UniCC), and Backbone Transmission Infrastructure (BTRAIN), all aimed at bridging accessibility gaps experienced by underserved and unserved areas in Nigeria. To tackle challenges with multiple taxes, multiple regulations, and Right of Way (RoW) charges the commission said that “through its Industry Working Group (IWG) on multiple taxation and regulations, it continues to maintain dialogue with organizations regarded as major players at the Federal, States, and Local Government levels to stop the imposition of different taxes, fees, and charges on telecoms operators”.

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The commission further emphasized their commitment to propagating growth in the sector and ensuring that there is efficient spectrum utilization, implementation of the InfraCo initiative, presence of investment opportunities, bridging of access gaps in terms of connectivity, and management of stakeholders.

The event which took place at the Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano state, had in attendance dignitaries, the society’s members, and pressmen.

 

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