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US trade agency to fast-track Nigeria’s broadband target, releases grant to BCN

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By Juliet Umeh

United States Trade and Development Agency, USTDA, may have bought into Nigeria’s 30 percent broadband target by 2018 , as it recently released a grant to Backbone Connectivity Network Limited of Nigeria, BCN.BCN is a unified data communication service provider for the North West region of Nigeria. The partnership which necessitated the grant will see to the building of a Tier III data center in Kaduna State and a metropolitan broadband network in Abuja.The grant, according to USTDA is for the development of a feasibility study and business plan to support the deployment of a broadband fiber network across the North West region of Nigeria including the building of a Tier III data center in Kaduna State.

USTDA and BCN believe that the partnership would accelerate and surpass the 30 percent target set in the National Broadband Plan of the Federal Government.Expressing gratitude for the grant at a dinner in honour of the participants of the November 2017 USTDA Reverse Trade Mission hosted  by US Consul General John Bray and visiting USTDA Country Manager for Nigeria, Ms. Shannon Roe, Chief Executive Officer of BCN, Ibrahim Dikko, said  the grant was timely as it coincided with BCN’s corporate and broadband infrastructure network expansion and deepening of its product and services portfolio.

He said: “The feasibility study and business plan being funded by USTDA would cover the assessment of the BCN-led Consortium’s plan to build about 10,000 km of fiber linking about 500 Points of Access across all local government areas in the seven North Western States integrated with the Tier III Data and Co-location Centre deployment plan for Kaduna. This is in furtherance of the National Broadband Plan to increase broadband access in Nigeria from its present 22 percent to over 30 percent in 2018” .

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