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Lagos plans metro backbone for submarine cables

By Adeyemi Adepetun
29 April 2015   |   1:20 am
THERE are indications that the Lagos State government is working on providing a metro backbone facility for all the submarine cables that have landed in its shores.
submarine cables

submarine cables

THERE are indications that the Lagos State government is working on providing a metro backbone facility for all the submarine cables that have landed in its shores.

The initiative is expected to help the submarine cables owners, including MainOne; Glo1; WACS; SAT 3, Dolphin, among others have efficient networking system that is expected to make Lagos a smartcity and interconnect with other states.

This plan was disclosed by the Director-General, Lagos State Financial Systems Management Bureau, Abdulahmed Mustapha, at a forum in Lagos.   Mustapha disclosed that about seven submarine cables have landed in the shores of the state within the last five years, but that it is still difficult for the operators to distribute capacities even within the state..

Mustapha, who disclosed that Lagos targets becoming a smart city, noted that all hands are on deck to ensure the realization of this as soon as possible to be able to complement the state’s megacity status and projects currently going on.

For effects, the Lagos state official said the state’s government is working to provide an efficient metro network system for all the submarine owners, which have landed their cables in the state.

“The state is focus on becoming a smartcity, along with our megacity status. We are already working with Chams to develop an ICT park in Lekki.
“Today, there are about seven submarine cables in the shores of Lagos. The operators have had the challenge of distributing these capacities within and outside the state.

What the current government is doing, which will be consolidated in the new regime is to get the cable operators together and help them to build an efficient metro backbone facility, where everybody will plug in and be able to distribute capacities seamlessly”, he stated.

According to him, the state identifies Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as one of the biggest avenue to harness for employment generation, “we are encouraging companies in this area to develop capacities.”

Mustapha said Lagos is projecting Yaba to become an ICT hub because of the good news coming from there. “Already, the state has given MainOne Cables a free Right of Way (RoW) along Herbert Macaulay up to Jibowu.

So if you go to any of eateries in those areas, there is free wifi, this is because MainOne has been able to lay its cable.”     He also disclosed that to further brightens the state’s smartcity initiatives, Lagos is working on building more Independent Power Project (IPPs) to ensure efficient power for broadband connectivity.

“This is a legacy that will be on for years”, he added.     Meanwhile, at the national level, The Guardian learnt that the National Broadband Council has approved the building of fibre optic cable landing points in four coastal states to ensure widespread penetration of high capacity Internet bandwidths in the country.

The project, which will be financed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), will accommodate states including Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and Ondo States.

This is part of government’s effort to encourage telecommunication operators to establish cable landing points across the broadband-cable country.

Chairman of the Council and Minister of Communications Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson, explained that the cable landing points will promote the rapid establishment of recovery and restoration agreements among the cable companies and delivery of additional landing points for national security and resilience purposes.

For her, additional landing points in the country would make it faster and cheaper to lay terrestrial cable from these points to other parts of the country and reduce vulnerability and risks associated with a single point of failure in the system.

Against this backdrop, the Council urged the nation’s regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and the USPF to look into the possibility of providing financial incentives to accelerate this.