NCC inaugurates N800bn broadband project

The Nigerian Communications Commission has inaugurated a committee to oversee its N800bn broadband expansion project named National Communications Backbone.

The committee will facilitate the deployment of broadband infrastructure in the nation. It stated that the committee will be chaired by NCC’s Director of Digital Economy, Dr Augustine Nwaulune, with Mobile Network Operators, Infrastructure Companies, and Tower Companies as members.

It added that it would be called the National Broadband Infrastructure Joint Committee. The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who was represented at the inauguration ceremony by the Director of Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC, Josephine Amuwa, said the emergence of the committee was informed by the need to inject a broad-based industry approach to address challenges impeding the actualisation of broadband targets.

He stated, “I appreciate your willingness and readiness to make a considerable investment of time and talent to participate in this committee. We appreciate that you will provide an invaluable perspective as we seek to address gaps impeding the actualisation of the NCB and NNBP initiatives.

“The depth and scope of experiences represented by the broad spectrum of this committee’s membership will, no doubt, provide the commission with much-needed insight and drive to overcome the challenges facing broadband infrastructure deployment in the country, and even exceed the current set targets.”

A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Reuben Muoka, stated, “Following its inauguration, the committee held its maiden meeting that discussed the frequency of meetings and other critical issues considered relevant to deliver on its ToR.

“The committee’s six-point ToR include: enhancing collaboration between MNOs and InfraCos towards achieving target of the NCB of the NNBP 2020-2025; and to design an NCB network architecture and harmonised comprehensive plan that will create a more viable business case that will attract investors, establish synergy between the MNOs and the InfraCos, and facilitate infrastructure deployment.

“The committee, in collaboration with the commission, is also expected to organise an NCB financing workshop and invite all the major financial institutions, MNOs and InfraCos, and present the project, estimated at N800bn, for adoption and financing.”

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