Monday, February 22, 2010

eWorld to unveil broadband action plan

As the date for eWorld organized forum on Broadband draws nearer, it is anticipated that the action plan for broadband deployment in the country would be unveiled.

Chief Executive Officer, eWorld, Mr. Aaron Ukodie said at the weekend that the expectation is high as industry stakeholders would come up with a more comprehensive national broadband development action plan at the end of the forum which scheduled for March 3, 2010.

Ukodie said, there is need for a more concerted effort to push the frontier of broadband development in Nigeria because of its impact on gross domestic product (GDP) current global focus.

He cited an instance with the 2009 World Bank report on Information and Communications for Development (ICT4D), which proclaimed the impact of broadband on growth in 120 countries from 1980 to 2006.

According to him, each 10 per cent points of broadband penetration resulted in 1.21 per cent increase in GDP in developed countries, but 1.38 per cent in developing countries, underscoring the fact that it has more impact in those countries.

Currently he said, the promotion of broadband and the reduction of its costs could be a good way to stimulate the economy in Nigeria and Africa, stressing that what is happening in most part of Africa is that the business model for broadband is high margin low volume, as opposed to low margin volume approach.

The envisaged action plan, Ukodie pointed out, would build on already existing roadmaps shown by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the International Cable Services Providers (ICSP) and disparate fibre optics projects embarked upon by a number of operating companies.

Korea, for instance, he said, is a good example of the action plan that African countries and indeed Nigeria need to take to develop broadband solutions and application.

Recently, Ukodie said, the country embarked on a comprehensive e-government programme, investing US$24 billion in a national fibre backbone that provides more than 28,000 government departments and agencies with fast broadband access.

With the regulator leading discussions at the eWorld Broadband Forum, it is the expectation that the speakers and discussants rallying at the event will arrive at a plan that addresses national last mile broadband network, market potentials, investment options, technology option and the issue of pricing, among others.

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