Daily Trust (Abuja)

4 February 2013

Nigeria: 90 Percent of Broadband Capacity Not Utilized - Main One

Main One Cable Company has announced its plans to build a world class data centre in Nigeria just as the firm stated that about 90 per cent of the available broadband capacities in the country are currently not being used.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ms. Funke Opeke said this at an interactive session with ICT correspondent in Lagos. She said huge broadband capacities from several submarine cables at the shores of the country were yet to be optimally utilized.

According to her, less than 10 per cent of the total broadband capacities from the three cable operators was being utilised in a country of over 160 million persons.

She disclosed that Main One capacity usage alone is still very low at less than five per cent of what the company can deliver.

Glo 1, operated by Globacom, with capacity of 640 Gbit/s, covering distance of 10,000 km from Lagos to UK, connecting 17 African and European countries, landed the shores of Nigeria in 2009, while Main One, which landed in 2010, covers over 7,000 km distance from London, with initial landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal and the West Africa Cables System (WACS) powered by the MTN Group 14,000 km in length, linking from Yzerfontein in the West cape of South Africa to the UK.

She explained that cable operators were able to reduce cost of bandwidth in the wholesale market remaining the retail segment which affects the consumers directly that still operate at high cost of bandwidth.

The Main One CEO noted that only infrastructure sharing among operators could bring down the price of bandwidth through effective distribution across the country as to ensure internet penetration.

She however stressed the need for infrastructure framework guidelines in Nigeria, where government would consider existing backbone infrastructure and make the available capacities accessible to operators at reduced cost.

"Government should step in, look at existing infrastructure and set a regulatory policy that will enable people buy bandwidth at a government determined price, instead of each operator building its own backbone and putting its own price," she said.

Opeke however said that the proposed Main One data center will include 600 racks and will be fully operational by 2014.

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