The Nigerian Communications Commission said it has started a selection process to choose broadband infrastructure companies (infracos) to aid the commission in deploying an open access broadband Infrastructure across the country.
Under the programme, the NCC will commence Phase two of the optic fibre network by licensing Infracos for North East, North West, South South, South West and South East zones.
Selected InfraCos will deploy metropolitan fibre infrastructure within its assigned territory on an open access, non-discriminatory, price regulated basis. The Open Access Model has been examined and found to be an appropriate model for Optic Fibre backbone infrastructure in Nigeria to bridge the current broadband gap and deliver fast, reliable broadband services to households and businesses.
It is envisaged that this initiative will address the challenges of congested transmission network and also mitigate the challenges arising from infrastructure sharing and Rights of Way issues. In this project the Federal Government shall provide financial support in the form of subsidy, which shall be competitively determined to facilitate rollout obligations.
According to the NCC, the Request for Proposal (RFP) document detailing the commercial principles, key licensing conditions and technical specifications shall be advertised and made available shortly.
Currently at 14%, the NCC is targeting 30% broadband penetration for Nigeria by 2018. As a tall order, the NCC will require to really ramp broadband infrastructure to increase access and quality 0f access.
Nigeria needs broadband Internet more than ever. It is needed for education, health care, tech and startups, digital publishing and other research development sectors of the economy.