Broadband Internet

Pandemic increases Nigeria’s Internet reach by 33% – Report

Nigeria’s internet reach has increased by 33.05 per cent since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

In June 2019 (before the pandemic), broadband penetration was 33.31 per cent, and the number of broadband subscriptions was 63.59 million. By June 2022, broadband penetration hit 44.32 per cent, and number of broadband subscriptions was 84.61 million, signifying a 33 per cent increase over the three-year period.

The COVID 19 pandemic led to increased growth in the consumption of the Internet with data consumption soaring as businesses shifted online.

In its 2020 industry report, the NCC said, “The global pandemic altered the way and manner business activities were hitherto carried out globally. Year 2020 witnessed a significant surge in data usage.”

Data consumption increased by 66.5 per cent from 125,149.86 terabytes in 2019 to 205,880.4TB in 2020. The commission added, “The increase in data usage is directly linked to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which  disrupted normal activities and most functions had to be held virtually including schools, Corporate Meetings etc.

“The number of Internet Subscribers increased from 135,743,324 subscriptions as of March 2020 to 154,437,623 Subscriptions as of November 2020 representing an increase of 13.77 per cent. Data usage also increased from 147,537.52TB to 196,163.42TB within the same period.

“Broadband penetration continued to increase within the year 2020 reaching a peak of 45.93 per cent.”

This growth continued in 2021, with data consumption increasing by 70.8 per cent from 205,880.4TB in 2020 t0 350,165.39TB in 2021.

Within a three-year period, Nigeria’s broadband penetration, a measure of the number of people with access to fast Internet, increased from 33.31 per cent to 44.32 per cent.

According to the commission, it had long exceeded its target of 30 per cent broadband penetration for 2018 and is on course to meet its target of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025.

In one of its Nigerian update reports, the World Bank had disclosed that Nigeria had the largest mobile market in sub-Saharan Africa and its broadband was driven by mobile.

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