Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ADI ranks Nigeria 18th in affordable internet access - ITREALMS

Nigeria has been ranked 18th in this year's Affordability Drivers Index (ADI) by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), reports ITREALMS.

This was contained I the 2018 Affordability Report made available to ITREALMS, which assesses and scores countries based on the policies they have in place to advance affordable access.

ITREALMS also gathered that Nigeria alongside Mauritius have been the two highest-scoring Sub-Saharan African countries on the ADI for the past 3 reports.

Reacting to the report findings, A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge noted that while they have seen a few bright spots of the policy leadership needed to advance affordable internet access, they are deeply concerned to see that policy progress has largely stagnated.

“Failure to prioritise needed broadband policy reforms has left billions of people offline, and has contributed to a significant slowing in the rate of people coming online. Every moment that these billions are unable to participate in digital development is a lost opportunity for economic, social, and political growth. Policymakers, the private sector, and civil society must come together to take immediate action to develop and implement the policies needed to connect everyone and accelerate internet growth,” she said.

ITREALMS gathered that the report finds that policies to expand infrastructure to underserved locations and populations have particularly faltered, resulting in stubbornly high costs for internet providers and consumers alike.

The ADI therefore, recommended that policymakers prioritise the time and resources needed to support the development of infrastructure critical to reducing internet costs.

Honorary Chair of A4AI and former Communications Minister of Nigeria, Dr Omobola Johnson, said that Internet access is a critical driver of economic growth.

“Good, stable infrastructure is, quite literally, the backbone of internet access. As it is today, many of the policies in place conspire to make the building and upkeep of internet infrastructure more difficult and expensive than it should be. Policymakers must focus on implementing policy frameworks that work to support the smart, coordinated development of infrastructure needed to ensure high-quality, affordable connectivity for all people — no matter whether they are in the city, a rural village, or a remote island community,” she declared.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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