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Broadband Penetration Is Key To Driving Nigeria’s GDP Growth – Stakeholders

Industry stakeholders agree that there must be pronounced and collective efforts to connect the masses with high speed internet because it will help put many people to work and therefore increase nationwide productivity output

 

  • Stakeholders must jointly address challenges of low broadband penetration
  • Nigerians enjoy broadband mainly the cities while rural dwellers are denied access
  • Inadequate transmission links impedes ability to carry broadband services to remote places

 

Stakeholder in the telecoms sector recently urged for further collaboration in the industry in order to provide broadband connectivity services to more of the Nigerian populace.

The universal access to broadband has become a significant indicator of development and competitiveness among nations as broadband has the potential of enabling entire new industries and introducing significant efficiencies into education delivery, health care provision, energy management, public safety, government cum citizen interaction and the overall organisation as well as dissemination of knowledge. International Telecommunications union(ITU) at its web site has said years back that it wants net access to be made available to 40 per cent of households in the developing world by 2015. But here is 2015 and Nigeria is far away from the target.

According to Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Funke Opeke said there need to for further collaboration in the industry in order to provide broadband connectivity services to more of the Nigerian populace.

She noted the need for stakeholders to jointly address the challenges of low broadband penetration as a community of concerned parties with benefits from improvement poised to accrue to all.

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“The Broadband Summit provides a platform for the telecom industry to articulate its perspectives on the landscape, and devise strategies that will hasten Broadband penetration in Nigeria”, she said.

She called on all stakeholders in the industry and the government to take necessary steps towards achieving the massive infrastructure rollout required to bring broadband services to more Nigerians, stressing the role of broadband in driving GDP growth in the economies of developing countries.

Former Minister of Communications Technology said Broadband is the way forward if the nation is to embark transformational development the technology age. Dr Omobola Johnson said high speed internet is about  empowering peoples, governments and industries in West Africa with technologies and solutions to transform societies, adding that the WAFICT event could not have come at a better time than now when the Federal Government is facilitating the transformation of Nigeria into a digital economy.

She said nations all over the world are keying to internet because of the importance of broadband and what it can do for its people.

‘‘Broadband access and internet technologies are key enablers of socio-economic growth and a knowledge-based economy,’’ Johnson said. According to her, ‘‘the presence of broadband as a strategic tool in any nation enables the creation of a digital economy crucial for fostering inclusive development. Broadband also plays a very important role in fostering economic development as well as enabling innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.’’

Broadband delivery to the ‘Last Mile’ or last end user would remain elusive in spite of 10 terabytes internet bandwidth capacity provided by undersea cables of Glo 1, Main One and South Atlantic 3(SAT 3).

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The apparent inadequate transmission links in the country is threatening the ability to carry broadband internet services to remote places, especially by leveraging the submarine cables. it is cheaper to deliver a unit megabyte internet bandwidth from UK(United Kingdom) to Lagos than to deliver same amount from Lagos to Sokoto.

The United Nations has set ‘ambitious’ new targets for broadband uptake around the world. It calls on all countries to put in place broadband strategies by 2015. By that time it wants to see 50 per cent for people living in the developing countries like Nigeria online and  60 per cent of people in the developed world online, a press  statement from ITU at its web site has said.

UN emphasized that broadband services must be ‘affordable’ and therefore cost less than 5 per cent of average monthly incomes. The four targets have been set by the UN’s broadband commission for digital development.

Our Correspondent gathered that while the majority of broadband connections in say Republic of Korea run at speeds of at least 10Mbps (megabits per second), countries such as Ghana, Mongolia, Oman and Venezuela offer much slower connections, rarely exceeding 2Mbps.

‘Broadband refers to band of telecommunications signal in which band of frequencies is available to transmit information. Broadband is evolving digital technologies that provide consumers a signal-switch facility offering integrated access to voice, high speed data service, video-on-demand services, and interactive delivery services. Broadband is the term that is commonly associated with high-speed data transfer connections. Bandwidth or data transfer rate is the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually in second). It is expressed in bits (of data) per second (bps).’

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