Operators kick over exclusion from national broadband council

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators (ALTON)

Key stakeholders in the country’s information and communications technology have been left out in the newly reconstituted Nigeria National Broadband Council.

A document of the new council obtained by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek contains list of members of the council.

The list, however did not have any telecommunications operator in the country or industry association such as Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON); Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) among others as members of the council.

This was as against the practice in the old council membership where telecommunications operators and representatives of ATCON, ALTON and others were members.

The present scenario raises doubt over the ability of the council to supervise effectively the implementation of the national broadband plan to achieve 30 percent broadband penetrative by 2018 without the people that will implement the policy.

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, ALTON, said: “I am of the view that critical industry players should be members of the council otherwise it will be more of an advisory council than implementation council. The object of the council is to make things happen and it is operators that can make things happen, they are the ones that understand the challenges of the industry in terms of providing broadband services in the country.

Adebayo who was a member of the defunct Council said that “If operators were not carried along there is the tendency that the council will loss vital information in the process of writing report for the implementation of the broadband plan. We as operators will cooperate with them to ensure that the objectives of the plan are realized, but, the ideal practice would have been to involve operators as members of the council just like the old council,” he said.

National Broadband council sees to the implementation of National Broadband plan; the council plays a supervisory role in the implementation of the plan. Although, the council does not implement, implementations are done by operators, various ministries as well as Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

It is the job of the council to ensure that different time line as contained in the National Broadband Plan are achieved, where there is delay, the council invites the agency responsible to ensure that any obstacle responsible for the delay is removed.

Lanre Ajayi, immediate past president, ATCON who was a member of the old council representing ATCON, said that it is ideal and appropriate for operators playing in the deployment of broadband services to be represented in the council if the council wants to achieve its objective and functions effective.

“In absence of the operators that will implement the Broadband policy and industry associations expected to represent the views of its members, I wonder how the new National Broadband Council will function effectively, this means that they will not get the right input to perform their role,” he noted.

Members of the new council consist mainly of Communications ministry, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and representatives of some agencies under the ministry of Communications.

In this article:
ALTONGbenga Adebayo


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