Nigeria has a collective bandwidth capacity of more than 19 terabytes, when you take into account, the submarine cables brought in by the MainOne, WACS, and Glo 1 among other Internet players. All these broadband investments were made in anticipation that the current government will encourage the penetration of broadband usage to about 30% by the year 2017.
However, the penetration rate has been quite low, and stakeholders are already concerned. The current broadband penetration in Nigeria stands at 10%, despite the country’s great capability. Over the last weekend, two forums were held where concerns about the lack of government push to fast-track the adoption of broadband across Nigeria were discussed.
The two forums were the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) under the theme: ‘Internet Penetration: The Way Forward’ and the Nigeria Information and Communications Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) which held its quarterly seminar under the theme: ‘Foreign Direct Investment – An Impetus To Achieving ubiquitous Broadband Penetration’.
All these forums centered on the discussions looking at various ways to remove obstacles preventing higher rate of broadband penetration. The stakeholders described the rate as snail speed development frowning at the awkward rate of penetration registered in the few past months.
They say that the multiple taxations, degradation of the naira and the state’s government move to install fiber optic cables through the federation to be causing the snail-paced broadband penetration rate. They urged the state government needs to link up the fibre optic. According to them, this move will help them generate more revenue, and the economy’s GDP will increase.
Emmanuel Ekwuem, the CEO at Teledom Group and the Chairman at the occasion said: “Our creativity and innovation should be put to work in the right direction. The content also needs to be scrutinized.”
According to Ekwuem, Nigeria needs to check on the type of content that will be produced and the impact they will have on the daily lives of the users.
Gbenga Adebayo the president of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) through representation shared his skepticism on broadband penetration going far given the current challenges bedeviling the sector.
“Without the removal of multiple taxation and improvement in the power sector, Nigeria cannot achieve 30% broadband penetration” lamented Adebayo.
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