Dr Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the country will achieve up to 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018.
Juwah made the statement in Abuja on Thursday while sensitising journalists to the need for media support for educating the public.
He said some key issues that were hindering the broadband infrastructure rollout included the lack of metropolitan fibre networks in Nigerian cities.
Juwah said another barrier was the high cost of leasing inter-city fibre backbone infrastructure from existing infrastructure owners as well as unregulated pricing of transmission capacity provision from infrastructure owners.
Others are the need for more spectrum bandwidth for mobile broadband to drive the expansion of internet services at a faster rate, relatively low levels of collation and infrastructure sharing among industry players.
Juwah stressed the need to encourage more innovation mostly from small and medium sector players, pointing out that there was an open access framework to address the challenges.
“By 2018, the broadband penetration in the country will be boosted to 30 per cent as targeted.
“The auction of one slot of 30MHz bandwidth in 2.3 GHz frequency spectrum band on a wholesale basis was carried out to encourage the growth of small and medium scale Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across the country.
“The planned interconnection of the Internet Exchange Point (IXPs) across the country will help to encourage small and medium scale ISPs and to improve quality of service delivery.
“The rollout of the required metropolitan fibre bandwidth on an open, price regulated and non-discriminatory basis will boost the planned auction of 700MHz and 2.6 Ghz frequency spectrum.
“Provision of innovative services in the telecommunications retail segment as well as other demand side services in the broadband ecosystem are some of the areas being addressed with the overall broadband and regulatory frameworks by the commission,’’ he said.
Juwah said that this would speed up the pervasive availability of broadband services and open up opportunities to more investors in the sector.
He said the commission had mapped out strategies to ensure broadband ecosystem growth in the country.
“The implementation of the plans and frameworks are underway; the time for harvesting of the dividends from effective and efficient implementation of carefully thought out frameworks is nearer,” he said. (NAN)