We live in a global village where ICT has a direct impact on a Nation’s ability to improve the economic wellbeing of her people and compete globally. Broadband is an essential infrastructure of the 21st Century. It enables access to business and job opportunities, improves healthcare, education and government services, and facilitates social interactions.
Traditionally, the term broadband referred to high-speed communications networks that connects end-users at a data transfer speed greater than 256 Kbit/s. Broadband is to the 21st Century Information Age what Electricity was to the Industrial Age. It has a significant transformative effect on how people live and work.
Challenges common to operators in the telecoms sector have been identified as; the high costs of right of way resulting in the high cost of leasing transmission infrastructure; long delays in the processing of permits; multiple taxation at Federal, State, and Local Government levels and having to deal with multiple regulatory bodies; damage to existing fibre infrastructure as a result of cable theft, road works and other operations; and the lack of reliable, clean grid electricity supply.
Right of way is a legal instrument allowing operators to deploy infrastructure on federal or state roads, power transmission lines, railways e.t.c at a fee. Unfortunately the fees are not fixed and it varies from state to state, region to region, agency to agency. Despite the fact that Government issues license to Infracos (Infrastructure Company), it goes beyond issuance of license for broadband penetration to be guaranteed and sustained.
In developed countries like the USA, China, UK e.t.c, every home has access to high speed broadband service via mostly Fibre optic cable and copper lines which has empowered the individual user with previously unimaginable capabilities and global reach; unfortunately, same cannot be said about developing country like ours. Government must go beyond granting of licenses to eliminating those barriers such as bottlenecks in securing ‘right of way’, impediments to smooth network operations- where operators are forced to pay levies that are not legalized, and providing adequate security for the infrastructures.
In Nigeria, there is now an appreciable number of submarine cable (SAT-3, GLO1, Mainone, WASC, ACE) landings on the shores of the country providing over 9Tbit/s of combined capacity. However there is concern about the fact that all the landings are in Lagos and that access to other parts of the country is choked due to the limitations of distribution infrastructure to the rest of the country.
With so many broadband policies already formulated, Government as a matter of urgency needs/must come to the aid of operator and ISPs by creating an enabling environment and formulate policy where Infrastructure should be interconnected to provide redundancy.
Author: Sunday Adams
- On April 22, 2016
- 1 Comments