Nigeria communication commission (NCC) and the Association of Telecom Company of Nigeria (ATCON) and some public and private sector segment of the ICT industry recently gave insight into the prospects and potentials of a broadband driven sector to sustain the gains of the past and launch Nigeria into real digital economy.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah; and President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu, appeared united in the direction of giving emphasis to the provisioning of this infrastructure when they spoke at the Telecom and ICT Evening hosted by the Institute of Directors at the weekend at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Dr. Juwah who was the special guest at the event, informed the audience that the Commission under him will deploy all the necessary human and material resources to ensure the realization of broadband in its fullness in Nigeria and urged members of IOD to partake in realizing this objective using whatever platforms that the Commisson will 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.
Engr. Omo-Ettu who was the Guest Speaker at the occasion, discussed the topic titled to the topic “The Last Man at the Far End of the Last Mile”, used different analogies to appraise Nigeria’s transition from lack of basic telephony services to current popularity of these services. However, 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 populations 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.
On the imperatives of broadband, Engr. Omo-Ettu made reference to a recent forum tagged BB4NG (Broadband for Nigeria) where presentations 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 said the last man at the far end of the last mile, needs to enjoy broadband for purpose of creating a livelihood and business opportunities offered by this service just as government can use this resource to implement effective e-governance.
He said the need to ensure wide spread availability of broadband services is apparent in its potentials to reduce cost of doing business. In doing so, he also proffered several solutions including the restructuring of the telecom, broadcast and computer industries for effective performance.