NCC Pledges To Ensure Availability Of Broadband Infrastructure … Unveils A Five Year 8-Point Agenda
THE Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has expressed its commitment to ensure that infrastructure necessary to provide ubiquitous broadband services is available and accessible to all Nigerians at affordable rates.
Meanwhile, the commission has unveiled an 8-point agenda that covers 2015 to 2020 that would bring about social benefits and inclusiveness for national development.
The agenda would facilitate broadband penetration, improve quality of service, optimise usage and benefits of spectrum, promote ICT innovation and investment opportunities in the country.
Unveiling the agenda yesterday in Kano, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Dambatta, stated that wealth creation through application of human knowledge and creativity is steadily out-spacing wealth creation through extraction and processing of natural resources, adding that ICT has immense socio-economic role to play in national development.
He said: “We would promote innovation, investment, competition and consumer empowerment in and on top of communications platforms of today and the future-maximising the power of information and communications technology to grow our economy, create jobs and enhance national competitiveness through the deployment of broadband infrastructure to facilitate roll-out broadband services that will hold out opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians.”
He observed that broadband is the next frontier in the ICT industry that would help speedy transformation of the Nigerian economy.
According to him: “The broadband penetration agenda would be achieved through the national broadband plan, while the role of the NCC in the plan is to prioritise the broadband infrastructure within the cities and subsequently in the rural areas.
“Also, there is a plan to license companies with broadband infrastructure. Two zones of the countries have been licensed.
“As we speak, the process of licencing infrastructure companies to deploy broadband infrastructure within the five geopolitical zones of the country is in motion.”
Dambatta further assured that the NCC would continue to maintain its reputation as the foremost regulatory agency in Africa, maintaining that the protection of consumers’ rights would be harnessed.
“The protection and empowerment of consumers from unfair practices through availability of information and education required to make informed choices in the use of ICT services will be prioritized,” he added.
On when Internet would be made free in Nigeria, the NCC boss said: “Nowadays, people pay virtually nothing to make calls through the whatsapp application, which means that very soon, voice services would be free and emphasis are now initiated into data services.
“The telecommunication now supports voice Internet, but the capacity to continue this process is not sufficient. The 8-point agenda is to ensure at least that Internet services are affordable, available and accessible.
“Also, time will come where the access to Internet would be free, as we encourage other service providers to provide adequate infrastructure.”