NCC puts broadband penetration at 33%, mulls 70% in five years

NCC Building.<br />Photo/NgComCommission

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, yesterday said that the country’s broadband penetration had increased to 33 per cent as at February 2019.

Danbatta stated this while receiving a high-powered delegation from Bharti Airtel Group, led by Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Mandara Raghunath, who paid him a courtesy visit yesterday in his office.

He, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria can achieve 70 per cent broadband penetration milestone in the next five years, even though a new national target of the penetration has not been made public yet.

“We exceeded expectation of Nigeria as the broadband penetration was 31 per cent as at December last year. The good news is that we are steadily seeing increase in the penetration. As at February, it was almost 33 per cent.

“There is a new target, though no official pronouncement has been made, but we are hearing stakeholders saying it is possible to hit 70 per cent in the next five years. When you divide 70 per cent by five, that will give you an idea of what we are expected to hit on yearly basis.

“So far, no official pronouncement has been made by the supervising minister who is the custodian of the national broadband plan, including the one that has just lapsed.

The NCC boss said that the Federal Government would soon come up with another penetration target to be attained in the next five years of the mission of national broadband plan phase two as phase one lapsed in 2018.

He, however, said that henceforth, “whatever penetration level we give in percentage terms would be with reference to the existing Nigerian population of over 190 million plus, courtesy of the figure given by the National Population Commission (NPC).

Also, speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Olusegun Ogunsanya, commended Danbatta for his vision and providing regulatory level playing field for competition to thrive in the industry.

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