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Broadband penetration: Only 38,000km out needed 120,000km covered—NCC

The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has given additional details on why the pursuit of broadband penetration in Nigeria is still distant.

Explaining issues during a recent courtesy call by officials of the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC) led by Ms Edirin Akemu, he said out of the needed 120,000kms of fibre optic cables (FOC) to drive broadband, Nigeria has only covered about 38,000kms.

Out of fears of not meeting this year’s target of 30 per cent penetration, Prof Danbatta used the occasion of the visit to call on the Federal Government to ensure that all the 36 states governments of the federation adhere to the resolution of National Economic Council (NEC) on the Right of Way (RoW) charges.

NCC went ahead to give details of key approvals of the NEC on issues of RoW regarding the laying of FOC which is expected to serve as guide to all the states in dealing with broadband infrastructure companies or networks wishing to deliver FOC.

He said the resolutions provide that a charge of not more than N145 per meter for laying fiber network in every part of the country will be asked for in each state.

Danbatta averred that “The Right of Way issue is something that refuses to go away despite the existence of a document guiding what should be charged”.

“Presently, nobody is complying with the provision of that document. We cannot compel the state governments to charge N145 per meter for fiber.

“The Federal Government can, however, meet with the governors and extract a commitment from them to ensure that NEC’s provision is strictly adhered to,” Danbatta advised.

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