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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

ATCON, NCC stress need for broadband

The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), at the weekend, reiterated the need to have broadband in the country.

The Nigeria’s public and private sector segment of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, they said, have the potentials of a broadband driven sector.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah; and President, ATCON Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, who spoke at the Telecom and ICT Evening hosted by the Institute of Directors at the weekend at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos.

For Dr. Juwah who was the special guest at the event, NCC under him would deploy all the necessary human and material resources to ensure the realization of broadband in its fullness in Nigeria.

He urged members of IOD to partake in realizing this objective using whatever platforms that the Commission would set up.

“We will give emphasis to the deployment of broadband services across the country using various platforms, including public private partnerships. I am sure that members of this important body will have some supportive roles to play at the appropriate time to ensure that the nation attracts the kind of investments necessary for the success of this programme,” he said.

Dr. Juwah also raised the concerns of the Commission about the current state of the quality of service in the telecom network and promised to host the operators to discuss solutions to the problem.

Omo-Ettu in his part as the guest speaker at the event, dwelt on “The Last Man at the Far End of the Last Mile,” noted that Nigeria has transited from lack of basic telephony services to current pervasiveness of these services.

He said the current population and telecom statistics of about 78 million lines where many people use more than one phone, shows that most Nigerians out of the 150 million population are yet to own these services.

“Until every Nigerian, including this last man, whom we may not even know who he is, or where he resides, owns a telephone, then, we will not say that we have wholly succeeded,” he said.

Stressing the imperatives of broadband in a society, Omo-Ettu pointed out that recent forum tagged BB4NG (Broadband for Nigeria) revealed that Nigerians are at various levels in awareness of, and demand for Broadband Internet access, and that Government needs to be told in clear terms that Nigerians need both ‘bread and broadband.

He pointed out that the key message from that forum was without equivocation, “Broadband is the critical and efficient medium needed for the timely delivery of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Vision 2020-20, and ICT for Development (ICT4D).

“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”, he said.

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