This Day (Lagos)

7 October 2013

Nigeria Needs New Business Model to Drive Broadband, Says CTO

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Prof. Tim Unwin, has challenged Nigeria to develop an entirely new business model that would drive broadband penetration in the country.

Unwin, who spoke in Abuja, at a world press conference, commended the country for the recent inauguration of its National Broadband Plan, but insisted that Nigeria should develop a new business model that would speedily address its broadband challenges.

The secretary general was speaking against the backdrop of the weak broadband penetration in the country, despite the avalanche of broadband capacities at the shores of the country.

According to him, Nigeria has broadband but what is left is the multi-stakeholders collaboration that would drive its penetration.

"CTO is collaborating with the International Telecoms Union (ITU) Organisations to ensure that there is widespread broadband rollout," he said.

He explained that countries could innovate through broadband if broadband comes affordable to the people, adding that CTO was ready to collaborate with Nigeria to drive broadband in the country.

"CTO is an organisation that builds on the expertise of its members, and we are in Nigeria to develop solutions in Africa," Unwin said.

Speaking on the benefits which comes with broadband availability in any country, Unwin said affordable broadband opens access to huge opportunities and would advance local content and promote economic development.

He explained that so much talk had been going on in the area of broadband penetration in Nigeria, but that the time was now to swing into action to boost broadband in Nigeria.

"We have since discovered that there are lots of talk going on around broadband, with less action. CTO will help Nigeria make significant improvement in broadband and we have to move from talking to acting. It is easy to write policies, but implementation is what matters, and that is why we are collaborating with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to come up with new models and solutions that will drive broadband penetration," Unwin said.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said government would continue to work hard and seek fresh collaborations that would help drive broadband penetration in the country.

He said NCC had adopted the 'Open Broadband Policy', which seeks to open its doors to foreign investors to invest in the Nigerian Broadband Plan.

According to Juwah, mobile broadband could be achieved with the support of fixed broadband infrastructure, hence the NCC and the Nigerian government are collaborating with the private sector to boost fixed broadband that would eventually drive mobile broadband in the country.

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