" ITREALMS: Broadband Council urges implementation of NBP

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Monday, February 09, 2015

Broadband Council urges implementation of NBP

Arising from its quarterly meeting, the Broadband Council has urged the accelerated implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) in Nigeria, reports DigitalSENSE BusinessNews

The Broadband Council which met penultimate Tuesday in Abuja and chaired by the Minister of Communication Technology, Dr (Mrs) Omobola Johnson, DigitalSENSE BusinessNews reports, took time to evaluate the milestones of the broadband plan and called for accelerated implementation to enable Nigeria meet with its project by 2018.

DigitalSENSE BusinessNews also reports that the Council acknowledged the progress made on the implementation of the Broadband Plan in the last 18 months, especially the increased capacity rolled out by telcos and other infrastructure providers which led to a 2 per cent increase in broadband penetration in 2014. 

A press statement made available to DigitalSENSE BusinessNews by Special Adviser to Mrs. Johnson on Media & Publicity, Mrs. Efem Nkanga, quoted the Council as noting the successful auction of the 2.3GHz spectrum, licensing of the first two Infracos for metro fibre rollout and called on successful bidders to quickly rollout to improve the pace of implementation.

Just as they commended the trial of TV White Spaces approved by both the NCC and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), which they said, was geared at reducing cost of internet access.
She further disclosed that the Council applauded the Telecoms Operators for their leadership in the area of base station infrastructure sharing and deployment in addition to being resolute in the extension of fibre.

The landing points of international submarine cables beyond Lagos to other coastal states, DigitalSENSE BusinessNews gathered was a crucial agenda for the Council meeting, even as they emphasized that additional landing points in the country would not only reduce vulnerability and  risks associated with a single point of failure but would make it faster and cheaper to lay terrestrial cable from these points to other parts of the country.

Therefore, DigitalSENSE BusinessNews reports, the Council urged NCC and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) to quickly look into the possibilities of providing financial incentives to accelerate this, though acknowledging some milestones were missed.

In addition, DigitalSENSE BusinessNews reports that the Council enjoined Bitflux to accelerate pace of rollout and NCC should aim at releasing the 2.6 Gega Hertz (GHz) before the end of first quarter of 2015.

DigitalSENSE BusinessNews reports that reviewing the progress on the Ministry’s Smart State initiative aimed at getting concessions from State governments, focusing specifically on the right of way reductions, standardization on levies and charges on telco infrastructure, the Council commended CommTech.

DigitalSENSE BusinessNews recalled that states that signed the MoU on the Smart State Initiative with the Ministry till date were singled out by the Council for commendation and other States yet to join were urged to do so to accelerate the pace of broadband infrastructure rollout within their States.

These States include Bayelsa, Ondo, Katsina, FCT, Lagos and Cross Rivers are now Smart States while Anambra, Delta, Gombe and Osun State have also agreed to become Smart States. 

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Pix: Mrs Johnson, CommTech Minister.

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