Fast Broadband Internet in Nigeria is said to be a luxury to have. It is seen that most upwardly mobile young Nigerians carry mutiple Internet connection devices, just in a bid to be in connection to the rest of the world. Whose responsibility should it be to provide adequate and reliable Internet access at an affordable cost to the people of Nigeria? The Government? The Nigeria Communication Commission? The Private Sector?
In anyways, ATCON (Association Of Telecom Company Of Nigerian) led by Engineer Titi Omo-Ettu a season Telecoms proffesional with his team met with the NCC to discuss the best way forward for Nigeria as relates to Broadband Internet availability. Both organisations are known to be working at pulling together to get broadband internet access to be widespread in Nigeria.
Dr Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC told a visiting team of ATCON members who came for a working meeting with the Commission that ‘the issue of broadband availability and penetration in Nigeria today is very dear to our hearts at the Commission, and you will recall that it is one of the key areas that we have indicated to occupy our focus in the next few years’.
Dr Juwah said that the Commission has developed a model based on ‘Open Access’ in which the role of the Network Operator is distinct from those of the Service Providers. ‘In this arrangement’, according to him, ‘the network provider offers access to the service providers on a non-discriminatory basis in a competitively neutral environment. Service providers, or corporations, or institutions, or even the public are allowed to access services in line with their needs’.
‘Underlining these models and strategies are issues of availability, affordability, stimulation of demands for services, attraction of investments, creation of more employment opportunities, penetration of services to the nooks and crannies of the country, improving governance and energizing the economy’.
President of ATCON, Mr Titi Omo-Ettu in a response told the Commission that ‘our reason for initiating this meeting is to enable us compare notes with the Commission on its Broadband Expansion Vision, and harmonise our plans with the Commission’s. Also, we seek the Commission’s listening ears when we would have latched unto its programme and require its support and intervention at any bend as we start implementing our plans. He thanked the commission for always supporting the programs of the Association.
The meeting discussed the ways of using Broadband to motivate investments, generate employment, improve governance and create an environment for investments to prosper.
The two teams agreed on the need to protect small businesses and to help big ones expand their networks.