" ITREALMS: NCC promises to partner NITRA on broadband penetration

Sunday, June 01, 2014

NCC promises to partner NITRA on broadband penetration

The Executive Vice Chairman and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah has promised to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in the propagation of broadband for development and penetration, reports ITRealms.

Juwah made this promise while presenting a keynote at the inauguration of NITRA in Lagos Sheraton at the weekend.

ITRealms gathered that stressing on the importance of business development and broadband penetration, Dr. Juwah who was represented by an Assistant Director, Technical Services at NCC, Engr. Bako Wakil, expressed confidence that such a partnership will broaden the desire of NCC to improve services, especially on quality of service, pave the way for affordable broadband penetration across the country.

“… We hope that we can partner with NITRA to drive our broadband aspiration to provide quality, affordable pervasive broadband penetration in Nigeria to be able to achieve another revolution,” he declared.

He congratulated NITRA for successfully pulling its inauguration, which Juwah described as culmination of efforts in forming a better platform for effective coverage of the industry.

“It is also heart-warming that your vision is to drive ICT Development through your mission to ensure ethical, accurate, and robust reportage, and deepen collaborations with the industry players, regulators, and other key stakeholders for sustainable development of the ICT industry,” he said.

Pointing out that from the objective of NITRA, it already has a shared aspiration with NCC, hence the Commission is delighted to join NITRA at this special occasion.

On “Broadband Penetration and Its Importance for Business Development” Juwah noted that the catalytic role and contribution of broadband services to an economy is well documented.

The economic impact of broadband is positive as shown from studies of the World Bank which showed that every 10 per cent points increase in broadband penetration leads to a 1.38 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The impact of broadband penetration on national development is immense. Some of the positive economic impact of broadband can be seen in entertainment, agriculture, commerce, education and energy management,” Juwah told ITRealms.

Citing broadband in entertainment, agriculture and education for instance, Juwah said that Nigeria’s Nollywood industry has been ranked third in size only behind the US’ Hollywood and India’s Bollywood, attributing that to the largest consumer demands for bandwidth which are coming from music, movies, videos, TV shows and Radio content downloads.

“The demand to download video content, such as a movie or TV show, within a short timeframe requires significant bandwidth. With the availability of broadband access, another means for entertainment businesses to distribute their content and provide access to users becomes possible. This greatly expands the reach for entertainment businesses and broadcasters to reach their target audiences anywhere in the world,” he said.

Specifically on agriculture, Juwah said that broadband access provide agriculture businesses the means to get relevant and timely information on weather updates, since the quality of crops and other tasks depend in large part on weather.

“The proper timing of planting activities in line with favourable weather conditions often promotes high yield,” he said.

Educational institutions, Juwah pointed out are making use of increased penetration of broadband access to push learning beyond the confines of physical classrooms, just as a student at home could participate in regular classes using interactive multimedia technology.

He stressed that unlike traditional school systems which require face-to-face encounters between teachers and students, broadband makes it possible to deliver distance learning and the sharing of educational resources.

Welcoming guest to the event chaired by the Executive Vice Chairman, Teledom International Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the President, NITRA, Mr. Emma Okonji said they are the finest crop of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) journalists, who took a step forward towards the formal inauguration of the NITRA.

According to Okonji, NITRA was established in November 2013, as the umbrella body of all ICT journalists in Nigeria, cutting across the print, broadcast and online media, with a vision to drive ICT development, ensure accurate and robust reportage and deepen collaborations with industry stakeholders and the regulators for a sustainable development in the ICT industry.

“The decision to inaugurate NITRA was borne out of the need to create an industry-wide awareness about the association and to formally unveil its activities to industry stakeholders,” he said

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