We can surpass 30% broadband target by 2018, says telecom regulator Danbatta

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By Chinedu James

Nigeria may exceed its 30% broadband target by the end of 2018, Nigeria’s telecom regulator and Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta told an audience of technology writers this week in Lagos.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP 2013-2018) has a target of 30% penetration by the end of 2018. Broadband penetration is currently 22% but the regulator says an aggressive policy thrust and rollout by licensed infrastructure companies (InfraCos) may help jump the target despite cynicisms in some quarters.

“With a combination of licenses for infrastructure provisioning and spectrum auctions, and re-farming of some of the existing spectrum to make them more efficient, we hope to attain the recommendation of the National Broadband Plan and possibly surpass it by the end of 2018.

“Let me also mention that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report credited to Nigeria indicated a 22% broadband penetration since 2017.

“Therefore, the commission is working assiduously to accomplish the 30% national target for 2018 as envisaged in the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2013-2018),” said Danbatta.

He said the commitment to rollout and deployment by InfraCos is hinged on the World Bank’s study which shows that a 10% increase in broadband penetration would yield a 1.21% GDP growth in developed economies and 1.38% in developing ones and as such the commission is fully committed to aid the country’s GDP growth.

Four Infracos were recently licensed by the commission to rollout telecoms infrastructure services to speed up broadband in the country. They are Zinox, Brinks, MainOne and HIS.

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