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NCC Targets Over 50% Broadband Penetration by Year End




The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it is working towards pushing broadband penetration in Nigeria to surpass 50% by the end of this year, 2023.

Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, disclosed this at the ‘Talk-To-The-Regulator (TTTR) forum recently held by the Commission in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

According to the EVC, the telecoms industry has witnessed milestones in more ways than one, including the rapid growth in technology, which is redefining service delivery, and creating wide and high expectations from all stakeholders.

To keep up to date with developments in the industry, he said the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate the rapid and continuous development.

Danbatta said some of the interventions and responses of the Commission include efforts to drive broadband penetration and coverage in the country to 70% and 90% respectively.

He said: “In line with the Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020 – 2025), the NCC is providing industry leadership to facilitate the achievement of 90% Broadband penetration by year 2025, and well above 50% at the end of 2023.

“Currently, over a One Hundred and Fifty (I50) million Nigerians have access to internet, while over eighty (80) million can access high speed internet.”

Latest industry data shows that broadband connections or access to high speed internet access in the country hits 91.89 million in April, 2023 while this represents 48.14% penetration.

Other interventions to sustain Nigeria’s booming digital ecosystem by the Commission, according to the EVC, include facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision; and Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas.

“The Commission is currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends,” he added.

Meanwhile, he described the ‘Talk-To-The Regulator` Forum as a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the Licensees and the Regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the Licensees and of national interest.

Also speaking at the two-day event, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM) of the NCC said the communications sector is indeed the pace-setter sector as far as the expansion of the frontiers for national development are concerned.

He said this was further underscored by the recent deployment of the Fifth Generation Technology (5G) services in the Country which, according to him, will ensure that Nigeria maximises the benefit of the 4th Industrial Revolution whilst being sufficiently prepared for any attendant risk that may occur.

“A market study has shown that the deployment of 5G Technology Services will result in $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035, generating 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone.

“Thus, the Commission has played an effective role in placing the nation at a vantage position in order to reap these benefits,” he said.

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