This Day (Lagos)

17 January 2013

Nigeria: Telecoms Operators Commend FG On Facility Protection

Telecoms operators under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), have expressed satisfaction over the quick response of governments at the federal, state and local levels, in protecting telecoms facilities across the country.

Chairman of ALTON, Mr, Gbenga Adebayo, told THISDAY that government's intervention to protect telecoms facilities, after several attacks on such facilities, was a pointer to the fact that the various governments now view telecoms facilities as critical national infrastructure of the country.

Telecoms facilities installed across the county came under repeated attacks by gunmen and hoodlums last year, a situation that compelled operators to seek government's intervention. At different technology fora organised in Lagos last year, ALTON had stressed the need for government to view telecoms facilities as national critical infrastructure, following repeated attacks on telecoms facilities that led to the destruction of several Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), otherwise known as telecoms base stations.

Operators had argued that the attacks contributed to poor service quality that is currently being experienced across networks. Worried by the continued destruction of telecommunications infrastructure across networks in the country, Airtel also called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, protect telecoms infrastructure in the country.

Specifically, Chief Operating Officer of Airtel, Mr. Deepak Srivastava, had expressed fears that such attacks would impact negatively on telecoms service offerings in the country. "Government should make pronouncements in form of policy formulation on the protection of telecoms infrastructure across the country," Srivastava had said.

Commending government for its prompt action in protecting telecoms facilities in recent times, Adebayo also called on members of the public to protect telecoms facilities in their neighbourhood by reporting any incidence of attack or attempted attack on telecoms facilities.

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