NCC Gets Committee To Monitor Broadband Penetration

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has established

Broadband Implementation Committee to fast track the deployment of

infrastructure to raise broadband penetration in the country.

 

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta,

Disclosed this at the commission’s stakeholders’ engagement meeting with

relevant state agencies in charge of telecommunications matters.

 

The meeting’s theme is: “Optimising the Benefits of Telecoms

Infrastructure in Nigeria’’.

 

Danbatta said that the committee would ensure targeted deployment of

infrastructure needed to raise broadband penetration to 30 per cent

before the end of 2018 would be met.

 

“The license has gone out to the Infrastructure Companies (INFRACOs),

and we have a total of six of them in all zones of the country.

 

“And each zone has infrastructure company licensed by NCC to deploy

infrastructure in that zone and no licensee is allowed to deploy

infrastructure in any other zone because it will develop  issues.

 

“On top of all these efforts, there is a subsidy NCC intends to pay,

this subsidy will be paid to INFRACO licensee for attainment of

milestone.

“The monitoring committee will confirm the milestone, verify that it

had been attained and this subsidy will be paid,’’ he said.

 

Danbatta said that the NCC was eager to support states in driving

universal access to citizens in the remotest parts to universal

affordability, accessibility and availability of service throughout

the country.

 

“This is a critical component of NCC’s Strategic Management Plan and

8-point Agenda,’’ he said.

 

He said that NCC was keen to enable states maximise the benefits of

broadband infrastructure and digital platforms to drive growth, create

employment and improve socio-economic interactions.

 

“In this regard, we are encouraging our licensees to explore

opportunities for bilateral arrangements with your states.

 

“We urge you to take advantage of these opportunities and launch your

respective states into the digital age,’’ Danbatta said.

 

The Commissioner, Stakeholders Management of NCC, Mr Sunday Dare, said

that over the years as telecoms infrastructure were becoming more

ubiquitous, NCC licensees found it more and more difficult to meet

prescribed rollout and quality of service benchmarks.

 

Dare said that NCC carefully studied the issues and realised that the

national network was not functioning at optimal levels due to a number

of factors such as frequent interruptions, security of infrastructure,

power issues, high cost of approvals and slow permitting processes.

 

“We therefore enveloped an engagement template to deal with those

factors that were understandably not within the control of the

operators.

 

“We approached the governors of the 36 states of the federation and

the FCT through the National Economic Council for their assistance.

 

“And in 2013, they agreed on basic principles to create a more

enabling environment for the speedy deployment of new telecoms

infrastructure and seamless operation of existing ones.

 

“The 2013 framework is now being reviewed to address obvious gaps and

to accommodate new developments, especially to achieve deeper

broadband penetration and more efficient services.

 

“We could just have limited our engagement to the governors. However,

NCC strongly believes in applying well-tested approach of consultative

regulation to our other endeavours, which is why we consider it

critical to discuss with you.

 

“This forum is therefore very critical to the development of our dear

country and that is why it is centered on the theme of “Optimising the

Benefits of Telecoms Infrastructure in Nigeria”.

 

The meeting had in attendance representatives from over 26 states of

the federation and FCT, amongst other stakeholders