Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Nigeria - The inadequacy of electric power is a major challenge for the deployment of broadband

[this day] The Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable, Ms Funke Opeke , has identified inadequate power supply as the main challenge to the deployment of broadband in the country.

Opeke said in the last one year of the company's operations, power and onward distribution of capacity across the country had been very challenging.

She informed THISDAY at the one-year anniversary celebration of Main One that limited access to backbone infrastructure and limited infrastructure available for distributing the broadband traffic to consumers, who want it, had been a challenge as well.

She added that there are a lot of pent up demands by consumers by some Small Medium Enterprises (SMES), large corporations, educational institutions, and government establishment to have better access to information, but the challenge remains in getting the capacity here in Lagos to other parts of the country.

Giving insights on how the issue of power should be addressed, Opeke said that she would like to see the Federal Government eventually achieve the goals that had been set for power generation.

She reiterated that if by the end of 2011, a lot more power is generated, and effectively distributed and reliance on generator goes down from 100 per cent to about 25 per cent, it would save the firm tremendous amount of money and millions of naira.

She expressed the hope that power plants as mapped out by the FG would actually be achieved and that Nigerians would all benefit from lower cost of power and stability would be attained.

Opeke stressed that "We have seen the broadband revolution. We have seen reduction in prices of Internet; we have seen lower cost of international calls. The challenge of the global opportunity is really now to take more of these capacities to the hinterland and also to people in the large urban areas, so that they would have more access to Internet information".

Opeke had recently called for the formulation of a national policy on broadband to accelerate rapid penetration of broadband, lower cost of telecommunications and to speed up economic and social development.

She stressed that national broadband policy will establish the strategic framework for the industry operators and stakeholders. "We think that with increasing demand for broadband accessibility by Nigerians, the time has come for the government and key players in the sector to articulate and develop a policy framework which regulates broadband service delivery and lays out a pragmatic roadmap on how we can get the capacity which is now available across the shoreline to the hinterlands", she said.

Ms. Opeke stated further that there are some key issues impeding broadband penetration which should form the thrust of the national broadband policy. "We have identified issues such as a review of the national backbone, network availability, access and interconnection. In addition, NCC needs to look at matters of spectrum, frequency and distribution and try to review how they are allocated and utilized to improve telecommunications in the country", she added.

Reviewing Main One's performance in the last one year following its successful commencement of operations in July, 2010, Ms. Opeke said the company was proud to be West Africa's first wholesale broadband company and driving the broadband revolution across the sub region.

According to her, "Main One has transformed the telecommunication landscape of Nigeria and West Africa. We have done a great job of maintaining an extremely reliable network; a network which has remained 100 per cent available to our customers since we launched a year ago".

She said Main One's has created footprints on the telecommunications industry and will continue to do its best to satisfy the yearnings of its customers.

"We brought a big cable with a lot of capacity to the market which has seen a reduction in price points. We have seen call rates drop, internet costs reduced while access to broadband and speed has increased. This is part of the impact we have created as we continue to develop the broadband market", she added.

Main One Identifies Power As Challenge to Broadband

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