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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nigeria missing @ affordable bandwidth

Given the position Nigeria occupies in the burgeoning SAT 3, the issue of achieving affordable bandwidth for her citizens should be upper most in the minds of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) among government agencies clamouring for reduction of poverty and digital divide:

Bandwidth is a measurement of frequency ranges that is central concept to many fields including information theory, radio communications, signal processing, and spectroscopy.

It is closely related to two capacities of a communications channel namely radio and optics.

In radio communications, bandwidth is the range of frequencies occupied by a modulated carrier wave, while in optics it is the width of a spectral line or spectral range.

On the other hand, SAT 3 is the marine fibre optics laid across West African countries onto South Africa to enable the availability to the citizenry.

But reverse was the case at the first ever workshop organised by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa on affordable bandwidth, which ended recently in the city of Sally, Senegal.

Tagged, “Achieving affordable bandwidth” the workshop aimed at the development and opening up of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure in West and Central Africa.

ICT programme officer at OSIWA, Mr Ben Akoh informed that Nigeria is not participating because his office did not get responses from, NCC.

This is despite all the entreaties and overtures, made to the organisation through telephone calls and electronic mails.

“I don’t know why they refused to respond to our mails or even return calls,” he declared.

OSIWA is part of the global network of autonomous Soros Foundations and serves all Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), members as well as Cameroon, Chad and Mauritania.

Meanwhile, representatives from other African nations like Mauritania and Ghana, he said, came with not less than two with some coming from either regulatory organs or the national telecom operator with substantial share residing with the government.

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