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National broadband development action plan needed at eWorld forum

By Emeka Aginam
Managing Editor and Chief Executive Officer of eWorld Magazine, Aaron Ukodie said at the weekend that he expects industry stakeholders to come up with a more comprehensive national broadband development action plan at the Forum which holds firts week of march 2010.

According to Ukodie,  there is need for a more concerted effort to push the frontier of broadband development in Nigeria because of its impact on gross domestic product (GDP) current global focus.

For instance a 2009 World Bank Information and Communications for Development report in analyzing the impact of broadband on growth in 120 countries from 1980 to 2006, states that each 10% points of broadband penetration results in 1.21% increase in GDP in developed countries, but 1.38% in developing countries.
This means it has more impact in those countries.

In this current global recession, the promotion of broadband (and the reduction of its costs) could be a good way to stimulate the economy in Nigeria and Africa. What’s happening in most of Africa is that the business model for broadband is high margin low volume (as opposed to low margin volume approach).

The envisaged action plan will build on already existing roadmaps shown by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the International Cable Services Providers (ICSP) and disparate fibre optics projects embarked upon by a number of operating companies.

Korea for instance is an example of the action plan that African countries and indeed Nigeria need to take to develop broadband solutions and application.

Recently the country embarked on a comprehensive e-government programme, investing US$24 billion in a national fibre backbone that provides more than 28,000 government departments and agencies with fast broadband access.
And as we all know, Korea is now one of the world’s most advanced broadband markets. With broadband penetration of over 32% at the beginning of 2009, compared to 23.5% in the USA , Korea has demonstrated the power of political will in bringing broadband to the people.

Though there are claims by several operating companies in Nigeria that they offer one form of broadband services or the other users are undivided on the need for improvement both in bandwidth, pricing and quality.

With the regulator leading discussions at the eWorld Broadband Forum, it is the expectation that the speakers and discussants rallying at the event will arrive at a plan that addresses national last mile broadband network, market potentials, investment options, technology option and the issue of pricing, among others.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.