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NCC banks on InfraCos to bolster broadband penetration


NCCTHE next phase of licensing of Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos), which is expected done by next quarter, has been projected as a major pedestal that will expand Nigeria’s broadband penetration drive.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it is committed to issue new telecommunications spectrum licences starting from 2016 to create pervasive Internet infrastructure in all the 36 states of the country.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos at the weekend, the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, said the commission was committed to enacting regulations that will drive the sector’s growth, saying that the commission was focused on penetrating broadband.
Specifically, Ojobo said the commission believed that as soon as it completed the second phase of InfraCos licensing soonest, Nigeria’s broadband penetration should moved from the present 10 per cent to a much more desired percentage.
Earlier in the year, MainOne Cables and IHS Communications were selected as InfraCos for Lagos and North Central respectively.”
According to Ojobo, the commission was doing everything possible to ensure pervasive Internet penetration. “The commission is working to complete the second licensing phase of the InfraCos, which is going to be soonest. As soon as this is done, coupled with other spectrum allocations, we believe Nigeria will improve on its 10 per cent broadband penetration.”
Ojobo said the commission through the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, is already engaging the Nigeria Governors Forum on possible ways to seek states cooperation in the development agenda.
“The EVC, Prof. Umar Danbatta has made a presentation to the Governors Forum detailing how their support was critical to sustaining the growth of the telecommunications industry. We are looking at governors relaxing rules on right of ways; reduces taxes levied on operators; protect operators facilities in their states, among others. The discussion has not ended. It an ongoing issue”, Ojobo added.
Ojobo believed that increased investment will expand broadband services and drive economic growth and development.
According to him, NCC will continue to implement policies that guarantee a good operating environment for telecommunications players.

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