" ITREALMS: Fibre Without Borders initiative excites ITU

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fibre Without Borders initiative excites ITU

The Fibre Without Borders (FWB), an initiative of the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, for achieving telecom connectivity for African continent without stress, took the centre stage at the just ended International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized Telecom World 2009, which held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The idea, muted by the foremost telecom engineer from Nigeria about two months ago, may become a topic for discussion when African heads of states and governments meet in early 2010 to discuss how to improve the economies and lives of the citizens in the African continent.

Speaking during the Nigeria’s Day at the event, which held at the Ramada Park Hotel, Ndukwe emphasized the need for the continent to evolve a solution that would ensure seamless connectivity across the continent, as encapsulated in the FWB initiative.

He enjoined African governments to support the initiative which holds the key for intra-traffic exchange for telecommunications within the continent, and would enable Africa benefit maximally from the existing and future undersea optics fibre cable infrastructure that may otherwise, not be accessible to landlocked African countries.

The EVC also said at the event attended by senior officials of ITU, including the Secretary General of the Union, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Director, Telecom Standards Bureau, Mr. Malcom Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecom Development Bureau, Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Mohamed Jamil Mulla, policy makers and regulators across the African continent among others, that FWB is a proposal endorsed by the leaders to achieve the desired African connectivity in the nearest future.

ITU Television, which transmitted live broadcasts of events at the ITU World 2009, also featured Dr. Ndukwe who discussed the import and potentials of the FWB concept.

He pointed out that this idea is to encourage the leaders and decision makers to relax any barriers that will not encourage cross border operators.

This, he said, does not affect or encroach on their sovereignties, but will only allow for information flow which will even make telecommunications delivery even cheaper for the citizens of these countries.

He emphasized that this initiative is receiving a lot of attention at the moment and would be taken up at various regional summits in the continent and the meeting of African leaders in early 2010.

As it concerns the West Africa Telecom Regulators Assembly (WATRA), founded by Ndukwe in early 2000, he said this organization is very important as regional integration is very critical for socio-economic development in the region and what operators will like to see is that as they set up business in different countries within the region that they see some form of commonality in terms of policy and regulation.

“That will enable the operators to see the region as a market and we will therefore enjoy some form of economy of scale,” he said. 

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