The Nigerian Communications Commission has tasked telecommunications operators in Nigeria to extend effective service coverage and delivery to rural areas instead of acquiring more technologies many won’t benefit from.
This was one of the major discussions at the 10th edition and awards of the eWorld forum organised by the Ajomedia limited/eWorldNews with theme: ‘Roadmap to Broadband Everywhere,’’ on Monday, in Lagos.
The NCC, and industry stakeholders, who expressed these worries, decried that increasing gaps in rural telecoms services.
Currently, there are 195 access gaps in Nigeria, where about 40 million people have not had access to any form of telephony services.
Experts, who spoke during a panel session at the event, raised concerns that although the world is already moving to 5G, “what have we done with the available 4G and 3G as the rural community are yet to benefit from it.”According to them, it has become highly imperative to connect the underserved and unserved areas of the country, if the telecoms revolution must be adequately felt nationwide.
Already, a World Bank study showed that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration in developing countries results in a commensurable increase of 1.38 per cent in GDP. It has also been proven that for every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration, a commensurate increase in employment of 2/3 per cent is achieved.
Speaking on broadband for sustainable development, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, called for persistent investment in broadband infrastructure, adding that it will narrow the lacuna between existing and planned fibre infrastructure in Nigeria.
Danbatta, represented by the Deputy Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Asaju Oluwatoyin, noted that broadband is a fundamental technology and a game changer to achieving sustainable development.The NCC EVC added that the Commission has adopted the deployment of optic fibre transmission network in the open access model to bridge current digital gap and deliver fast, reliable broadband services.