NCC Moves To Licence Broadband InfraCos In 5 Zones

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to licence the remaining five broadband Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in five geopolitical zones of the country aimed at boosting broadband penetration and access as well as meeting the 30 per cent target for the national Broadband Plan by the year 2018.

Mr. Tony Ojobo, director, public affairs of NCC said at the weekend that the licencing which is the second phase for the deployment of fibre optic infrastructure broadband network would be for the North East, North West, South South, South east and South West zones of Nigeria.

The telecom regulator had earlier announced Main One Cable Company and IHS as the winners of the Lagos and North Central Zones of the InfraCo licencing. The proposed InfraCos according to the Open Access Model adopted by NCC would offer fibre penetration, available on a non-discriminatory basis and complete with a strategy to ensure cooperation of existing operators.

Ojobo said the Open Access Model has been examined and found to be an appropriate model for Optic Fibre backbone infrastructure in Nigeria to bridge the current broadband gap and deliver fast, reliable broadband services to households and businesses.

He said “It is envisaged that this initiative will address the challenges of congested transmission network and also mitigate the challenges arising from infrastructure sharing and Rights of Way issues. In this project the Federal Government shall provide financial support in the form of subsidy, which shall be competitively determined to facilitate rollout obligations.

“The Request for Proposal (RFP) document detailing the commercial principles, key licensing conditions and technical specifications shall be advertised and made available shortly” he said. The InfraCos would deploy metropolitan fibre and provide transmission services which would be available at access points (Fibre to the Node or Neighborhood – FTTN) to access seekers, leverage existing inter-city fibre to deploy their services.

The InfraCos would key into the already existing National Fibre Optic Network for Broadband to boost high-speed Internet services across Nigeria. They are expected to aggregate fibre optic links of other existing operators and will also get a one-off subsidy from government.

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