President of ISPON, Mr. Chris Uwaje has identified non -existence of infrastructure and content as major setbacks to the nation's broadband penetration at a mere 7 per cent.
Uwaje, who made the observation in a telephone conversation with THISDAY at the weekend said there are two critical sides to Broadband penetration globally- infrastructure angle and the content angle. The two, he said are integrated and sustained by the services side, which is the penetration of broadband.
Uwaje said: "One side of achieving better services, cannot be developed at the negligence of the other. There is great danger in developing the infrastructure side while neglecting the content side and vice versa", he said.
According to him, the infrastructure side deals with whole scale import-consumer market and creates limited employment, while the content side is creativity and innovation based, creating mass employment especially for the youths.
Uwaje added that the content side of broadband penetration also makes the greatest contribution to the National GDP.
He stated that conventional wisdom in the ICT development sector is that PC density or usage per country is determined by user content needs.
He said: "The most strategic way to achieve broadband penetration and boost the economy in 2013 is to proactively accelerate the creation, deployment, application and service of ICT knowledge content. That has been the case the world over and will continue to be the case in the future. It was MS DOS, Spread Sheet and Word that sold the IBM PC worldwide, same was the care with Apple and its GUI content and on Global System for Mobile, Nokia, Samsung and Apple have been sold as push technology through the content channel."
Meanwhile the Chief Executive Officer, Main One Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke, posited that the setback to broadband penetration in Nigeria was lack of infrastructure and urged regulatory and legislative interventions.
According to Opeke, about 95 per cent of the bandwidth capacity on Main One cable is redundant, though available for use, putting the active bandwidth at barely five per cent.
She stated the need for Nigeria to tackle the challenges of last-mile connectivity in the country, to fully enjoy the benefits of the $250million, 14,000km fibre cable, which landed in the country three years ago.
"Regulatory and legislative interventions are required in tackling challenges to last-mile connectivity in the country. Lack of infrastructure in Nigeria is a major setback for broadband penetration. The cost of transporting capacity from is unbelievable", Opeke said.
She added: "There needs to be an infrastructure sharing framework or policy that will ensure that available infrastructure is available on commercial basis. It is a policy that can be set up in 60 days without having to do any serious studying."