Broadband Connectivity: NCC considers funding options for fibre optic infrastructure

*InfraCo project is dear to government because of its ability to enhance robust, pervasive broadband infrastructure to drive service availability, accessibility and affordability in Nigeria ─Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to its creation of a committee to review the framework for the licensing of infrastructure companies and recommend viable funding options, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it is examining sustainable funding solutions for the rollout of fibre optic infrastructure in the country.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, in a statement titled, ‘NCC Reviewing Infraco Framework, Funding Options’ Sunday, October 18, said the regulatory Commission had created a committee that would review the framework for the licensing of infrastructure firms and suggest viable funding options.

RoW for Fibre Optic Cables 

The Director of Public Affairs noted this measure becomes necessary in view of the recommendations contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 and reports of relevant committees set up by Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Adinde stated that the committee is comprised of the Inter-Ministerial Review Committee on Multiple Taxation on Telecommunications Operators over Right-of-Way and the Technical Sub-Committee on Right-of-Way (RoW) for Deepening Broadband Penetration in the country.

The NCC disclosed that the committee would take into consideration the delays in the take-off of the project, change in exchange rate, supply chain, and other challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the process.

The statement revealed the committee had met with all licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) and the preferred bidder for the North-Central zone of the country.

The committee is examining the challenges facing the InfraCo project, the need for accelerated deployment of fibre infrastructure, and strategies of lowering the exorbitant RoW charges, among others.

It stated that the telecom industry regulator is also working with the Broadband Implementation Steering Committee constituted by Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, based on the recommendations of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC, on the status of the InfraCo project, said: “The InfraCo project is dear to the government because of its ability to enhance robust and pervasive broadband infrastructure to drive service availability, accessibility and affordability.”

Danbatta stated that the current status of the InfraCo project is contrary to reports suggesting that the Commission is close to executing the counterpart funding as regards the project.

Kindly Share This Story