NCC: Broadband Penetration Now More than 20%


By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

With 30 per cent broadband penetration target by 2018, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has revealed that Nigeria has achieved more than 20 per cent penetration as recently disclosed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

While underscoring the resilience of the telecom sector, Danbatta said the active total subscribers in the network has surpassed 152 million, with Internet penetration of more than 97 million.

Speaking at the 2016 Abuja International Trade Fair, Danbatta, said the penetration level signifies that the country is getting nearer its target of 30 per cent  by 2018 as set by the National Broadband Strategy Report.

The EVC who was represented by the Head, Public Affairs, Mr. Reuben Muoka, averred that NCC’s robust broadband deployment programme through the open access model of fibre infrastructure provision licensing and auctioning of broadband spectrum licenses are yielding results.

The EVC said: “These are to show that the telecom industry will continue to add value to our lives and economy. A lot of solutions are available with the availability of telecom services. Internet banking and online bookings are prevalent.

“The Nigerian social media is alive and thriving. We have a full dose of social media interactions going on across the length and breath of the country.”

Danbatta urged telecom consumers to take advantage of the Do-Not-Disturb Code: 2442, to combat the menace of unsolicited text messages, adding that NCC has now empowered the consumers to determine which text messages to receive.

He said service providers have been mandated to ensure that they do not only provide this solution to the consumers, but should create awareness so that consumers will be able to take advantage of it.

According to him, pre-registered SIM cards are constituting concern to the commission, adding that directives have been sent to service providers to ensure that their agents are not used to perpetrate this fraud. He advised consumers to desist from buying or using pre-registered SIM cards.

The EVC said, use of substandard and counterfeits devices worsen the quality of service, adding that the devices fall short of international standard and therefore pose risk to users.

Danbatta called on Nigerians to help in preventing vandalisation of telecom infrastructure and denial of right of way to service providers, adding: “The commission is requesting partnership with the public to prevail on some communities and individuals who bar service providers from maintaining their sites.”