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Monday, May 25, 2009

Group applauds process for 2.3GHz spectrum

The Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) has applauded the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the granting of the latest three licenses on 2.3 GHz), describing the process as ingenious.

President, NIG, Mr. Lanre Ajayi said that for NCC to have been able to peg the price for this frequency and yet conduct a transparent sale is inventive and deserves commendation.

He noted that auctioning is an easier process because the spectrum, which is a limited resource but desired by many, will simply go to the highest bidder. But this may drive broadband Internet out of reach of many Nigerians.

On the other hand, pegging the cost is more challenging, since it is more difficult to select who should have it out of many contestants.

“Pegging the cost of spectrum is certainly a way of lowering the cost of broadband Internet to Nigerians and guaranteeing deeper broadband penetration in the country,” he said.

NIG, it would be recalled has always canvassed a low cost of spectrum for broadband Internet to accelerate broadband penetration in Nigeria.

“We are glad NCC has been able to accomplish this,” he said.

In a press statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, the Group noted that many countries of the world are subsidizing broadband Internet to their citizens, Nigeria government should not over burden her own citizens by over pricing the cost of broadband spectrum.

While auctioning may be suitable for voice spectrum like in (GSM), it is certainly not appropriate for broadband spectrum because of the need to urgently get every Nigerian connected to broadband Internet.

“NIG is proud of the ingenious way NCC sold the 2.3 GHz, which pegged the cost of the spectrum and yet created a level playing field for the companies that earlier showed interest,” he declared.

Also, he said, that NIG believes that the transparent manner with which the transaction was concluded and the resultant lower rate of the spectrum, would spur affordable internet for the citizens.

“We had always believed this is one way to make internet affordable in Nigeria,” he said

The group maintained that the process was ingenious, explaining that if NCC had allowed it to linger into auction, highest bidders would pick the licenses but at a high cost, which would be translated eventually to the end-user.

“We applaud the outcome of the process. With this development, Nigerians should braze up for explosive e-Education, e-Health, e-Commerce, e-Government, and other e-Services which ride over Broadband Internet” NIG president said.

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