NCC CEO, Mr. Eugene Juwah
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it is adopting a new industry structure for broadband deployment as part of efforts to further bridge the broadband penetration gap in the country.
The new industry structure, according to the commission, would foster effective competition at layers of the telecoms industry, provide a platform for the speedy deployment of broadband infrastructure and drive innovation and infrastructure sharing.
Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), at the NCC Mr. Eugene Juwah, stated that the commission was considering three models that would assist in the effective implementation of its (commission’s) ‘Open Access Strategy’.
The strategy is specifically designed to strengthen investment in the area of deploying in-land fibre and last mile networks needed to move available bandwidth capacity around the length and breadth of the country.
The three models, according to Juwah include: the Utility Model; Equal Access Model and Passive Infrastructure Model.
He explained that the Utility Model will provide equal access, but to a reduced extent, because it combines the active layer (OpCo) and the passive layer (NetCo), which brings about the InfraCo.
The NCC boss however stated that the Passive Infrastructure Model does not provide for equal access, as it permits the OpCos (transmission companies) to also be retail service providers.
He clarified: “In the Equal Access Model, the NetCos are separated from the OpCos and the retail service providers. The new report by the commission indicated that after due consideration of the three industry structure models, the Equal Access Model is being considered as the possible industry structure for broadband access deployment in Nigeria.”
He continued: “In this model, bandwidth will be provided by the active infrastructure providers to the retail service providers on a fair and non-discriminatory basis. Active Infrastructure providers will buy bulk bandwidth from the submarine cable companies, which are then delivered via optical fiber owned by the passive infrastructure provider".
Given the mere 7 per cent access to broadband in the country, over 93 percent, put at about 155 million out of the 167 million population of the country are yet to enjoy the dividends of a deregulated telecoms industry.
Investigation by THISDAY revealed that with only 11.16 million people, representing the 7 per cent of the current 167 million population in Nigeria who have access to broadband services, a larger chunk of the population is yet to enjoy the services.