Nigerians may soon join Finland in the bid to provide broadband access to all its citizens if all goes according to plan.
A forum organized by the Nigeria Information Communications Technology (ICT) Forum of Partnership Institutions, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Fantsuam Foundation and Telecom Answers Associates, are set to meet in Abuja on July 28, 2010 to brainstorm on best possible ways to make this a reality.
The main discussion being how to “have broadband, with speed of at least four megabit per second (Mbps), that is accessible, affordable and dependable to citizens and consumers in Nigeria.”
The forum dubbed, Broadband for Nigeria (BB4NG), will dialogue with a broad spectrum of stakeholders to fashion a broadband policy for Nigeria. Stakeholders to participate in the forum include Civil Society Organizations made up of Consumer Advocacy and Protection Groups, Development Agencies and Donor Organizations, Financial Institutions, Private Sector Organizations and the Business Community, Infrastructure Providers, Internet Service Provider, Telecom Operators, Submarine Fibre Consortia, Multilateral Institutions; Government Ministries, among others.
The recent law by Finland which makes it a legal right for its citizens to have access to broadband connections to the internet has been herald by all as a welcome development other countries should emulate.
The Finland new broadband law makes it mandatory for telecommunications companies to provide all citizens with broadband lines that can run at a minimum of one megabit per second (Mbps). Furthermore, the government pledged that by 2015, the entire population will enjoy a 100Mbps connection.
According to the Chair, BB4NG Committee ICT, Dr. John Dada, “Nigeria is also taking early steps in this direction.
Therefore he said, “let's work together to make this a truly representative and inclusive process.”
Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia has posted that, “Currently, the broadband market in Nigeria is in its infancy and is predominantly wireless, rather than wireline, and is dominated by the fixed wireless access operators. Consequently, the market structure has been determined more by the licensing and regulation of the radio spectrum space rather than by unbundling of the local loop. Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) remains the predominant form of broadband Internet access. It is estimated that 51.1 per cent of Internet users are connected by VSAT, 24 per cent by broadband wireless, 3.4 per cent by Digital Subscribed Lines (DSL), 9.3 per cent via dial-up, 8.7 per cent by cable/satellite and the remainder by Wi-Fi and leased lines.”