Business Hilights
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NCC, industry stakeholders validate findings of CTO’s OTT study

As part of a stakeholder consultation session organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the 30 May, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) presented the findings of its study on over-the-top (OTT) services to the Nigerian ICT industry to provide them with an opportunity to discuss and validate the findings.

The session involved over 60 stakeholders from all segments of the country’s industry, including the Ministry of Communications Technology, the NCC, mobile network operators and Internet service providers and broadcasters.

The session’s opening statement was delivered by Shola Taylor, secretary-general of the CTO, who highlighted the challenges and impacts of OTTs and underlined the need for regulatory responses to OTT services that are tailored to the context of each Commonwealth country.

He observed that “Following the widespread use of OTTs and ICTs, and the emergence of data security issues, some of which are not limited by physical jurisdictions and cross national borders, it is vital that Nigeria establishes legislation on data protection and privacy which ensures the protection of personal data in Nigeria”.

Participants discussed the findings of the study, underlining specific issues and recommendations which are relevant to the Nigerian context.

Business Hilights gathered that participants underlined the challenges in implementing licensing frameworks for OTTs, the new and emerging trend of Nigerians using OTTs to roll out businesses and deliver services, the security issues associated with OTT encryption and lawful interception of data, the challenge of creating a level playing field where all stakeholders including OTTs, traditional service providers, governments and consumers all benefit, etc.

The NCC’s executive commissioner for stakeholder management, Mr. Sunday Dare observed that “It is obvious that consumers in Nigeria have benefitted from the innovation and services provided by OTT service providers. It is also undeniable that these innovations and services and the ensuing consumer behaviour have run ahead of the current regulatory approaches in Nigeria”.

“It has now become vital for Nigeria to come up with regulatory approaches that not only address the peculiarities of the Nigerian “OTT” context but also ensure positive outcomes for consumers, traditional service providers, OTTs, and the Federal Government. The CTO’s OTT report is an excellent start to doing just that,” Dare added.

The CTO’s report will be published on 19 June 2018 and will present key issues and recommendations on OTT services.

It would be recalled that the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies.

With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs advocacy and international monitoring of member nations.