Nigeria’s broadband coverage hits 44.5%

Nigeria's broadband coverge hits 44.5%

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s broadband usage has continued to rise, moving up to 44.5% in July 2022 from 40.9% in February 2022.

The NCC considered the figure hopeful for achieving the national broadband target of 70% in 2025.

“With the technological advancements anticipated in the coming years, it is expected that there will be a proliferation of devices in the industry. It is, therefore, essential for the Commission to ensure that the right regulatory frameworks can accommodate such eventualities”, said Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during a public enquiry on five telecom regulations and guidelines.

The Commission’s CEO Prof. Adeolu Akande said the public inquiry which covered five areas of existing regulations, are aimed at achieving operational efficiency and operational excellence.

These include: Type Approval Regulations, Guidelines on Short Code Operation in Nigeria, Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure, Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions, as well as Consumer Code of Practice Regulations.

Akande said the focus areas were already articulated in some important documents guiding the operations of the Commission, which include the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020 – 2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020 – 2030, NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP) 2020-2024, and its Strategic Vision Implementation Plan (SVIP) 2021–2025, which are being implemented towards achieving its mandate.

While stating that these strides are the results of the Commission’s regulatory efficiency and focused implementation of policies and strategies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Danbatta said the public inquiry is in tandem with the Commission’s strategy of consulting stakeholders in all its regulatory interventions.

The EVC further stated that the amendment of these regulatory instruments were to reflect current realities, one of which is the anticipated deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology, and management of short codes in Nigeria, including the Toll-Free Emergency Code 112.

Earlier, Head, Telecoms Laws and Regulations at NCC, Helen Obi, had stated that public inquiry allows the Commission to incorporate the comments and suggestions of industry stakeholders, in the development of its regulatory instruments.

She said the process ensures that the Commission’s regulatory instruments are in line with the current realities in the industry as it had done with some regulatory frameworks and guidelines in 2021.