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Nigeria Needs Broadband Connectivity, Not Capacity - ATCON


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Nigeria

IMAGE: ATCON President Mr. Lanre Ajayi »

Oct.17.2013

 

The President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Lanre Ajayi, has challenged both the federal government and sub-marine Cable Operators to focus on connecting people with broadband, rather than dumping broadband cables on the shores of the country.

Ajayi, who expressed unease at the fresh plans by a cable company to berth another submarine cable in Lagos, told THISDAY that Nigeria does not need the cluster of broadband capacities from various submarine cable operators, but “what the country needs is the actual broadband connectivity to homes, offices, business centres, and public places in the hinterlands.”

He frowned on the current situation where there are lots of broadband capacities at the shores of the country from Glo 1, Main One, MTN WACS, and Sat 3, yet the capacities are not transmitted through backbone infrastructure to the hinterlands to address the last mile connectivity issues in the country.

“We have lots of broadband capacities lying low at the shores of the country, yet cost of bandwidth is still high and the level of access to the internet is not commensurate with the avalanche of broadband capacities that are littered around the country's shores, yet we are talking of bringing another submarine cable to the country,” Ajayi said.

According to him, of all the abundant broadband capacities that are currently in the country, the usage is less than 5 per cent, just because the same capacities that are abundant at the shores, are also very scarce in the hinterlands. He therefore called on government and cable operators to make broadband capacities available at the hinterland where people are in dire need of them, rather than heaping them on the shores of the country.

Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, recently in Abuja, said "The roll-out of the terrestrial fibre-optic network in the country's hinterland is not keeping pace with the increasing international bandwidth landing on Nigeria’s shores. Approximately 30,000km of fibre had been laid as at 2010 and we estimate that an additional 11,000km was laid since then. However additional fibre cable is mainly duplications along a few commercial routes."

The Minister made the observation during the recent Commonwealth Telecoms Organisation Forum that was hosted by Nigeria in Abuja.

Ajayi, who said Nigeria needed broadband connectivity to homes and offices, and not dumping of broadband capacities at the shores of the country, was reacting to a fresh plan by Dolphin Telecoms to land another submarine cable in Nigeria next month.
Dolphin Telecoms, a global communications carrier and operator of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system in West Africa, announced last month that it would land a $700 million (N109.2 billion) submarine cable in Nigeria in the fourth quarter of this year.

The ACE cable, initiated by France Télécom-Orange and administered by a consortium of 16 operators, will link Europe to the West Coast of Africa.

Managing Director of Dolphin Telecoms, Mr. Abdel Mageid Elzain, who made the announcement in Lagos, said the cable would bring seamless connectivity to Africa with massive bandwidth to ensure affordable internet access to the continent.

Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago
 

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