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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Broadband critical for attaining MDGs – Forum

A one-day forum tagged Broadband for Nigeria (BB4Nig) ended at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja with experts identifying broadband as the critical and efficient medium needed for the timely delivery of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Vision 2020-20 and Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D).

Experts said that Broadband is a descriptive term for evolving digital technologies which provides consumers a signal switched facility offering integrated access to voice, high-speed data service, video-demand services, and interactive delivery services.

This is coming as the framework document is being fine-tuned by the project team headed by Director, Fantsuam Foundation, Dr. John Dada, which the forum intend to submit to the government.

Communique emanating from the forum presided over Mr. Olusola Teniola, Chief Operating Officer of Phase 3 Telecom and made available to ITRealms Online, noted that in order to ensure that Nigeria’s MDG commitments and Vision 202020 reach their target audience in all the 774 local governments, it will require a substantial completion of fixed Broadband infrastructure that gives optimum connectivity within the country and to the global internet.

According to the communique, the next crucial step is to ensure that this message reaches all the people who will be responsible in developing the policy to make this dream a reality.

Presenting the background and framework documents to participants, president Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, said broadband makes bread but bread does not make broadband.

While urging Nigerians to choose Broadband because bread will follow, Omo-Ettu outlined some of the existing initiatives in broadband to include three submarine, namely, SAT-3, Glo 1, MainOne, Wire Initiative Nigeria (WIN) and State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI).

He highlighted the fact that engagement of a consultant to prepare the documents is equally crucial to the review of the consultant’s work and presentation to the stakeholders, which after the ratification could now be presented to Federal Government.

Omo-Ettu pointed out that the ultimate goal is to enthrone the Broadband internet access with speed of at least 4 mega bytes per second (Mbps) that is accessible, affordable and dependable to all citizens regardless of their status, station or location.

He emphasized five key objectives, namely, to enhance the equitable distribution of the value and/or benefits of telecoms infrastructure in general and particularly, broadband among the populace.

For him, it is important to address network infrastructure and end user devices, so as to enhance the capabilities of the Nigerian population to make use of and contribute to broadband, and in so doing increase its relevance to the social development of the country.

Adequate awareness on the ability to use broadband effectively, he said, would aid in closing the literacy gap in the land.

Some of the attendants comprised of director, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Dr. Moses Olateju Ojo, immediate past, Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Communication, Mr. Obi Adindu, acting chairman, National IT Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Mohammed Bulama, Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Prof Jibril Dahiru Aminu to name a few.

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