There is a big gap between access communication and internet penetration in Nigeria; The Nigerian communication industry has been confronted by two disturbing issues over the years. The two major challenges are the provision of Infrastructure and accessibility.
This challenge relates to the low access and poor internet usage. Nigeria has more than enough broadband capacities which ought to have translated into high internet access by its citizenry with the several submarine cables in the country presently yet less than 10 percent of the total broadband capabilities from the cable operators are being utilized in a country of more than 180 million people.
A few challenges are enumerated below as the causes of poor/low internet access in Nigeria-
- Poor Implementation of Government Policies; Over the years, the role of Government in improving internet access growth and development has not been in accordance with many formulated policies by various Government agencies.
- Competitive environment; So many organizations/companies claim to provide broadband internet service but end up providing nightmare to customers as such, a lot of prospects are discouraged and this greatly affects broadband penetration as well.
- Technical knowhow – Very few experts in the field of access technology (Microwave, Fibre optic, satellite) are found in the country and this has affected its spread across the board. Most often the unskilled workers damage other’s already deployed infrastructure like fibre optic cable, installed satellite.
- Infrastructure- In as much as Government has done little or nothing to put up structures that would enhance broadband penetration. During construction of roads and rail line Government can factor in the construction of telecommunications ducts and they can also explore the possibility of Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Also, the cost of right of way (ROW) is extremely high and the infrastructures are not protected from vandals, in a lot of States operators are faced with double taxation.
Research has also affirmed that the lack of pragmatic information and communication technology, National policy and failing infrastructure amongst other factors have affected broadband penetration in the country.
All these can be changed if only our Government can pay more attention to this sector so as to make Nigeria one of the topmost leading countries in broadband penetration.
Infrastructure Support Unit