Saturday, June 20, 2015

NCC, ATCON disagree on Broadband penetration target

Apex telecom regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and umbrella industry organisation, the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) have disagreed over the achievable broadband penetration by December 2018, reports ITRealms.

According to the National Broadband Plan (NBP) designed to accelerate broadband from six per cent in 2012 to 30 per cent by 2018 is causing some ripple between the two entities.

Whereas NCC a is projecting attainable broadband penetration at 30 per cent, ATCON said its not attainable by the estimated deadline.

At the time of filing this report, ITRealms gathered that both NCC and ATCON agreed that at least between 2012 and December 2014 that Nigeria was able to garner 10 per cent broadband penetration.
For NCC, they are ready and are working towards this projection of attaining the remaining 20 per cent before end of December 2018, but ATCON argued that the road map has some hiccups thereby making the projection unrealistic.

NCC a had in a recent forum in Lagos, through its Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah, disclosed the intention and resolve of the commission to meet up with the remaining 20 per cent as set in the National Broadband Plan for a 30 per cent inroad to be made in 2018, stressing to ITRealms that as matter of fact had begun the journey to actualize this.

But reacting to this projection, ATCON president,  Mr. Lanre Ajayi, expressed doubt as to the readiness of the telecoms industry to achieve the remaining 20 per cent broadband penetration within the targeted three years.

Ajayi ITRealms gathered made this known while receiving an award by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Lagos pointed that the industry is backward in broadband.

“Currently, we are not doing well in the area of broadband as we have done in the voice segment. In the voice segment, we keep meeting and surpassing forecasts.So, at the rate at which we are going in the area of broadband growth, I am afraid we may not be able to meet the 30 per cent penetration by 2018,” he said.

The ATCON president who is also a member of Broadband Council urged the government of president Muhammadu Buhari to accelerate the implementation of the broadband plan, while noting that aside challenges around land-mile broadband deployment, telecoms operators’ access to adequate spectrum bands is key to ensuring faster broadband network deployment, adding that the NCC should be transparent in its spectrum licensing activities.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE

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Pix:Juwah and Ajayi

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