Nigeria’s broadband penetration now 14%
• Government charged on ICT, Internet for economic rebound
• Smart Africa to attract $300bn investment to continent
Nigeria’s broadband penetration appreciated within the last six months, growing from 10 per cent as at December 2015 to 14 per cent in June.
This is as the Federal Government has been charged to explore opportunities Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has for economic rebound.
While there are over 90 million Internet users in the country, broadband is commonly referred to as high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) cable modem, and fiber, among others.
The pioneer Minister of Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, gave the new percentage increase in broadband penetration, Sunday, at the conclusion of the 2016 TechPlus Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.
Johnson, who is also the Chairman of Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), said the World Economic Forum (WEF) has identified Internet access and adoption as one of the key global challenges of our time and is addressing this challenge through an Internet for All initiative.
According to her, it is now time for Africa’s national and regional governments alike to take action toward this goal and place Internet access and use top of the agenda.
“There are a few examples of national and regional leadership that are critical to success. Nigeria’s broadband plan, developed by a Presidential Committee in 2013 includes a connectivity target of 30 per cent by 2017. Today, broadband penetration stands at 14 per cent, more than double what it was when the plan was published. But in the light of the UN goal and the slow growth that we are now witnessing, we need a new and more ambitious target and we need to do much more to achieve it,” Johnson said.
The former minister disclosed that governments of the Northern Corridor Countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia, with a total of 160 million people (76 per cent of their population) not connected to the Internet, have committed to work together to bring 40 – 75 million of these unconnected citizens online by 2020. She stressed that the countries are receiving the full support of the WEF Internet for All initiative.
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