NCC Making Cautious Efforts To Close Broadband Access Gaps – Danbatta

TECH DIGEST – Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), will not rest on its oars until the existing broadband access gaps in the country are closed, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has promised.

Danbatta made the pledge last week while addressing ICT reporters in Lagos, stressing that the Commission has been making cautious effort to ensure these clusters of broadband access gaps and underserved are plugged.

The Commission working with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) succeeded in reducing broadband access-gap clusters in Nigeria from 207 to 114 cities representing about 55.7 per cent and thereby deepening digital inclusion in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission said this was achieved through the efforts of the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).

Hitherto, some 38 million Nigerians were affected by access gap clusters.

According to the Danbatta, NCC is mindful of the fact of what ought to be done in areas that are underserved or un-served clusters which are mostly areas that lack economic viability.

“Therefore, you find infrastructure not deployed in those places. The Commission is making a cautious effort to ensure these clusters of access gaps and underserved are plugged.

“We are trying to improve the rate that we can be able to plug these clusters of access gaps. We hope that one day, we pray to wake up to see that all the clusters have been plugged into the mobile networks.

“So far, we have succeeded in bringing the number from 217 to 114 clusters. We have also succeeded, through this effort, in bringing the telecommunication service to Nigerian who hitherto did not have access; the number has gone down from 30 million Nigerians to 25 million. Even with that number, it is not acceptable.

“No part of the country should be denied access to telecommunication services consistent with that important stipulation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which is inclusiveness in the provision of telecommunication services.

“Therefore, these services should be ubiquitous or pervasive”.