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LASG permit delaying coverage of remaining 1,900kms of fibre—MainOne

Leading Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) consortium led by MainOne Cables and MTN, Airtel, and VDT, has decried what it described as undue delays in granting approval for the completion of the planned 3,000kms fibre optic cable coverage.

Business Hilights gathered that out the planned 3,000kms, the aggregation of existing networks provided 1,100 kms of fibre remaining 1,900kms.

The Head, Regulatory Service at MainOne, Ifeloju Alakija, revealed during a recent broadband forum in Lagos, that even though the consortium requires about $85 million to deliver the distance, permit approval from the Lagos State Government (LASG) has remained a key hindrance.

According to him, operators retain existing asset but available fibre and ducts are to be commercialised by Infraco at the end of the service roll-out.

Across the federation, it has been a serious running battle for Infracos to access Right of Way (RoW) from states’ agencies as many states see the efforts of the telecoms operators to deliver broadband penetration channels via fibre optic cables as gold mine.

This crisis in the views of many industry experts, caused the inability of Infracos to cover the regions with telecoms infrastructure at record time which translated to Nigerian’s inability to meet its National Broadband Plan 2015-2018 target of 30 per cent.

In his remarks, Head, Fixed Network and Converge Services at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Tony Ikemefuna, said if allowed to thrive in the country, broadband would among others help to create jobs, enhance productivity, bridge digital divide, improve the country’s GDP and allow the growth of SMEs.

He stressed that “If Nigeria must deploy new technologies including Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Mobile solutions, Cognitive computing, we must allow broadband to thrive in the country.”