The federal government has given the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) matching orders to come up with proactive policy that would address last-mile deployment of fibre optic cables by telecom companies in order to accelerate broadband internet access in the country.
The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, disclosed this during the launching of this year’s edition of the World Magazine’s broadband forum which held in Lagos recently.
Represented by the ministry’s Ag. Director of Spectrum Management, Mr. Festus Dauda , Johnson decried the low level of broadband penetration in the country despite the huge availability of bandwidth made possible through the landing of international fibre optic cables in the country.
She explained that the ministry had “recently asked the NCC to look seriously into and implement regulatory actions that will reflect reasonable and commensurate profits for operators that invest in transmission networks and remove some of the overtly competitive practices that are driving the cost of national transmission upwards.”
In addition, the minister said, “We will be pursuing full interconnectivity between National Long Distance Operators, in accordance with the provision of the Act in sections 96-97, which mandates interconnection between all networks and facilities services providers, giving them open access to the provision of Law.”
With only 6 per cent broadband penetration, 49 million Nigerians or approximately 28 per cent of the country’s population currently have access to the internet.
According to Johnson, doubling broadband penetration by 2015, was a goal that the federal government had set for the Information and Communication Technology industry.