August 17, 2022

Broadband: FG Targets 70% Penetration, Not More Than N390 Per Gigabyte By 2025

4 min read

A successful digital economy is expedited by the level of broadband penetration which is why the Federal government has designed the National Broadband plan to deliver a penetration rate of 70% by 2025; as well as data download speeds across Nigeria – a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage).

This was revealed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Ali Pantami while delivering a keynote address at the National Strategic Mobilization for the Actualization of National Broadband Target of 70% Conference and Exhibition; with the theme “Realizing the New Set Target of 70% of Broadband Penetration”, organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria.

The event which took place in Abuja was aimed at x-raying the current level of broadband penetration, what are the bottlenecks that need to be looked at and resolved, and what is needed to not only achieve the 70 percent broadband penetration but exceed it.

Prof Pantami who was represented by the Director of IT Infrastructure Solution Department, NITDA, Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi said: “Broadband is the backbone of a digital economy as it has been identified by industry experts that 10% increase in Broadband penetration will increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of an economy by between 1.6% and 4.6%”.

He cited that as at July 2021 the broadband penetration was 39.79%, adding that the current evaluation of the achievements of the Broadband Plan so far reveals that as of the first quarter, 2022 Broadband penetration stands at 42.27%.

 

The Honourable minister noted some of the challenges of Broadband which include multiple taxation and regulation, non-conformity with agreed Right-of-Way (RoW) charges, difficulty in obtaining approvals and permits, burdensome taxes, and levies are some of the huge burdens on the industry and have stifled needed investment in telecommunication infrastructure.

He opined that this steady increase is as a result of relentless efforts made to address those challenges and the government is confident that the figure will continue to increase and surpass the set mid-term target of 50% penetration by 2023.

“Our confidence in this is based on the strength of positive indices in 3G and 4G population coverage which are presently at 83.65% and 62.55% respectively”, the minister said.

While presenting a paper on the theme of the event, Kashifu Inuwa Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA) highlighted NITDA’s contribution towards the demand drivers of 70% Broadband Penetration which are, NIRA Free domain registration.

According to the DG, this initiative seeks to ensure collaboration between NIRA (.ng registry), NITDA and CAC towards getting more Nigerian businesses online by assigning a free .ng domain to every new business registered with CAC for the first 2 years.

He added that Digital Indigenous Language Contents is aimed at the development of digital (educational, vocational, and entrepreneurial) content in local languages for citizen’s empowerment to leverage opportunities created by Broadband; Digital Literacy Training and Awareness.

He said the goal of these initiatives is to develop or adopt an explicit Digital Literacy standard with coherent training and requisite certification for the duration of the plan.

“Our goal is to achieve at least 1 million developers with skill in various aspects of app development in the next eighteen months. Our long term objective is to champion the recalibration of the curriculum of institutions of higher learning which remain the largest pipeline in the production of digital talents”.

“e-Government Interoperability Framework will ensure the implementation of the Nigeria e-Government Interoperability framework (Ne-GIF). The Framework specifies concepts, principles, policies, recommendations, standards, and best practices for MDAs to work together towards cross-portfolio and seamless services delivery”, he added.
Earlier the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr Ikechukwu Nnamani during his opening remarks maintained that the event is an interactive session and a platform where “we are exploring and taking inventory of where we are in terms of the broadband target that has been set”.

“We all know this is critical to the digital economy we are trying to build, which is why the broadband plan must be implemented and achieved”, Nnamani.

He said this is something that will drive this country forward in a positive way and lead to development across all sectors of the economy.

The conference had panel sessions, first session was on the state of the broadband implementation in Nigeria. While the second session was on the Impact of Broadband Infrastructure on OTT service providers, Fintech/e-commerce, equipment vendors, VAS providers, satellite operators, internet service providers, Manufacturers’ representatives, and Data Center operators.

Copyright © 2020 Swift Reporters. All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.