Nigeria plans to help revive economic growth by expanding broadband Internet access throughout Africa’s most populous country by 2020 despite delays in rolling out the needed infrastructure, according to the telecommunications regulator.
“Broadband is the next frontier in the information communications and technology industry which will help in the speedy transformation of the Nigerian economy,” Nigerian Communications Commission Vice Chairman, Umar Danbatta, told reporters in Lagos, the commercial capital, on Wednesday. “By the time we roll out broadband, we expect Internet penetration to astronomically rise.”
The NCC plans to achieve its target by developing infrastructure and promoting competition, according to a policy document. An initial target would be as much as 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018, up from 4 to 6 percent in 2012.
Danbatta said that, in a bid to start the broadband infrastructure roll-out, the NCC will award five licenses within three to six months to companies to build fiber-optic networks. Two other licenses have already been issued to MainOne for Lagos and IHS for the north-central Nigeria zone, which includes the capital, Abuja.