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MidWeekCommentary@ITREALMS :  One of the cheering news in Imo State today is that the administration of Governor Emeka Ihedioha has subm...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mrakpor tasks FG on policy

Chief Executive of Nigeria’s acclaimed Internet service provider, HiREST Africa Limited, Mr. Igho Mrakpor, has tasked the Federal Government to ensure that it puts in place policies that would encourage the growth of broadband Internet access in the country.

This, he also said would pave the way for adaptation and growth of technology convergence.

Speaking through the firm’s Corporate Affairs Director, Mrs. Ufuoma ‘Daro, at the recently ended Nigerian International GSM Strategic conference and exhibition in Abuja, Mr. Mrakpor noted that currently only estimated 3.1 per cent of the population have access to the Internet.

Dwelling on his paper, “Growing Broadband Internet penetration through Convergence,” Mrakpor said that with the convergence of technologies access to the Internet is excepted to increase.

Mr. Mrakpor emphasised that statistics have also shown that there is a growing awareness of the importance of the Internet among Nigerians hence more and more citizens are itching to have access.

“The increase in the number of users from 200,000 in year 2000 to five million in year 2006 is a clear indication in the growing interest and awareness in the use of the Internet. This therefore, calls for the need to grow the Internet market penetration in the country,” he said.

He advocated that social benefits to the end user should be the major motive behind regulation in the era of convergence and not economic gains only.

“Every decision the government has to take on this issue of technological convergence should be based on giving consumers benefits in terms of service and cost,” he said.

As said by him, the Internet is a perfect example of convergence, which is driven by openness and as such, is very difficult to regulate.

He stressed that in the country today, the Internet is becoming increasingly popular with greater percentage of the penetration on a daily basis.

He further observed that technology right now is based on mobility and as such should be encouraged at all levels.

He recalled that in recent times, the emergence of the Internet and the increasing capability of existing networks to carry both telecommunications and broadcasting services, have brought about evidences of convergence with the increasing use of the same technologies by different sectors, notably the telecoms, media and information technology (IT).

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