Under-utilisation of Submarine Broadband Capacity Worries NCC

L-R: Engr. John Funso-Adebayo, National Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO NCC; Engr. Morufudeen Odetokun, Fellowship Committee Chairman.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) seems worried about the under-utilisation of the submarine broadband capacity at the landing shores describing it as a major broadband challenges facing Nigeria

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Besides, telecoms operators and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) have laid over 42,000km of inter-city fibre and installed more than 40,000 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs)

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who expressed his concern Institute’s 14th Distinguished Electrical And Electronic Engineer Annual Lecture and Special Fellowship Conferment of the Fellowship of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE) said the implication is that Nigeria uses less than 10 percent of the 60 terabits capacity that is available while ironically bereft of adequate intra-city metro fibre infrastructure in several towns and cities.

Danbatta in the lecture “Addressing Nigeria’s Telecoms Infrastructure Deficit: Driving the Deployment of Broadband Networks by the NCC”, Danbatta stated that 120,000km of fibre is required to cover the whole country.

According to him, the vortex of inadequacy of fibre, stakeholders bottlenecks such as multiple taxation, multiple regulations, stifling Right of Way (RoW) charges, epileptic power supply, vandalism of infrastructure and scarcity of foreign exchange remain strangulating factors affecting telecoms services in Nigeria.

Danbatta underscored the centrality of broadband access to development citing a World Bank study which revealed that every 10 % increase in broadband penetration, results in, at least, 1.3 % increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of developing countries.

He noted that this and other empirical facts explain Nigeria’s adoption of the Open Access Model (OAM) for the expansion of Nigeria’s broadband infrastructure.

Danbatta disclosed that the Commission has adopted strategies for attracting investment, bridging clusters of access gaps and collaborative stakeholders’ management.

He also said that the Commission has licensed infrastructure companies (InfraCos) that will cascade fibre from shores to metropolitan areas and the hinterlands in order to ensure greater access to broadband by entrepreneurs, and to trigger innovation, bolster economic activities and national development.

Danbatta had previously been inducted as a Fellow of Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAEng) and Renewable and Alternative Energy Society (RAES).

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