Nigeria plannning National Broadband Plan in 2020

Nigeria is planning for a new National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-25 to be ready by Q1 2020 to ensure that all unserved and underserved areas have access to broadband services.

The need to boost broadband penetration from its present coverage of 37.8% to over 70% in the next five years is the pedestal for the new National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020-2025 according to Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami.

The new NBP 2020-2025 is a sequel to the first NBP 2013-2018. The new NBP Committee has Funke Opeke, Managing Director & CEO, Main One Cable Company as Chairperson; Dr. Bashir Gwandu as Co-Chairman; and Ubale Maska, the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the Secretary to the Committee.

The Committee is to develop a new National Broadband Plan that will be the guiding template for the development of this very important area of telecommunications. The new NBP has the collaboration and support of the United Kingdom government.

The inauguration of this new Committee is a follow up to the launch of the National Policy for Digital Economy and Strategy by President Muhammadu Buhari, in November 2019. The Policy has eight pillars among which are Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy and Skills, Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure, Digital Services Development and Production, Digital Society Emerging Technologies and Indigenous Content Development.

The Minister told the Committee members to lay emphasis on the third pillar of the National Policy which accommodates broadband and data centre, key components for economic growth, and promotion of digital economy. The Committee’s work, he explained, will address significantly one of the eight pillars and the remaining seven will also run as one of this all important pillar.

‘‘We see what is going on with 5G all over the world, so we will address both at the Committee but I believe our objective is not to favour one technology over another but to figure out how we can get those critical services to many more Nigerians. So, we’ll be a mix of technologies but the objective is not to favour one technology over another or to be prescriptive but the right technology for the right purpose, the most competitive technology that enables us to deliver services to all Nigerians,’’ said Opeke.

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