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Initiative encourages broadband adoption

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By Abraham Adekunle

Nigeria's ambitious National Broadband Alliance to tackle connectivity barriers.

In a bold move to spur broadband development and adoption, Nigeria is set to establish the National Broadband Alliance for Nigeria (NBAN), a groundbreaking initiative aimed at fostering collaboration among various stakeholders. The Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy unveiled this strategic plan in a comprehensive white paper titled “Broadband Access For All: Deepening Nigeria’s National Backbone and Middle Mile Infrastructure.” As of now, Nigeria’s broadband penetration hovers around 45.57%, with a mere 39% of the population residing within five kilometers of fiber networks.

The challenges are multi-faceted, including low last-mile Fiber to the X (FTTx) connection rates, suboptimal fiber-to-tower connection rates, modest download speeds, and a stark digital divide between urban and rural areas. The NBAN, however, aims to confront and rectify these issues head-on. Described as a multi-stakeholder collaboration, the NBAN’s primary objective is to lead a united effort towards achieving universal broadband access across the nation. This alliance will bring together key players from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, fostering cooperation to develop sustainable business models.

Hurdles faced in driving internet adoption across public institutions.

Of course, the goal is to drive the adoption and consumption of the internet in crucial public institutions such as schools, hospitals, government offices, libraries, and markets throughout the nation. While the initiative’s aspiration to promote digital inclusion and awareness for all segments of society is commendable, the path forward is laden with obstacles. The white paper acknowledges numerous challenges that must be addressed to make the NBAN initiative a success. These challenges range from the practical aspects of access and installation across diverse terrains to more bureaucratic hurdles like construction and permit issues, rights of way negotiations, and routing fiber through existing infrastructure and public utilities.

Additionally, the document highlights concerns related to maintenance, repairs, operation, and payback periods. Feasibility studies will be a critical aspect of the NBAN’s success, examining the practicality of access and installation across various terrains. Construction and permit issues, often bureaucratic stumbling blocks, will require careful navigation. Rights of way negotiations, crucial for laying down the necessary infrastructure, will demand diplomatic and regulatory finesse. The process of routing fiber through existing infrastructure and public utilities will need to be streamlined to ensure efficiency.

Tackling ongoing challenges in maintenance, operation, and sustainability.

Maintenance, repairs, and operation represent ongoing challenges that the NBAN will need to address. Developing strategies for swift responses to technical issues, implementing routine maintenance schedules, and ensuring seamless operation will be crucial. Additionally, the financial aspect of the initiative, including payback periods, must be carefully considered to guarantee long-term sustainability. The pilot phase of the NBAN initiative is set to commence in seven states of the country before the end of the first quarter of 2024. These states will serve as testing grounds, allowing policymakers and stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the proposed solutions and make necessary adjustments before rolling out the initiative nationwide.

As Nigeria positions itself for a digital future, the NBAN stands as a beacon of hope. While challenges are evident, the collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach is a positive step towards overcoming the barriers hindering widespread broadband adoption. The success of the NBAN initiative could not only significantly boost Nigeria’s digital landscape but also serve as a model for other nations grappling with similar connectivity challenges. As the pilot phase unfolds, all eyes will be on Nigeria to see if this ambitious endeavor can pave the way for a more connected and digitally inclusive future.

Related Article: Nigeria is still at 48% broadband penetration

Finally, socio-economic factors further complicate Nigeria’s journey towards universal broadband access. The digital divide between urban and rural areas reflects not only infrastructural discrepancies but also economic disparities, limiting the ability of remote communities to harness the benefits of connectivity. Furthermore, a lack of digital literacy initiatives exacerbates this gap, hindering the full utilization of broadband services. The NBAN must recognize these socio-economic nuances, incorporating targeted educational programs and inclusive policies to ensure that the digital revolution is truly accessible to every corner of the nation, leaving no community behind in the quest for connectivity.


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AN-Toni
Editor
1 month ago

Initiative encourages broadband adoption.Nigeria’s ambitious National Broadband Alliance to tackle connectivity barriers. – Express your point of view.

SarahDiv
Member
1 month ago

The National Broadband Alliance for Nigeria is a crucial step toward bridging connectivity gaps in our country. It aims to unite stakeholders for universal broadband access, addressing challenges like infrastructure and digital literacy. The pilot phase in seven states offers hope for a more connected future. 🌐🇳🇬 #DigitalNigeria #Connectivityforall

Kazeem1
Member
1 month ago

The effort to promote broadband adoption is a positive development. In order to address connectivity constraints, Nigeria’s National Broadband Alliance looks exciting and ambitious.a novel project meant to encourage cooperation amongst different parties

Taiwo
Member
1 month ago

Initiative promotes the use of broadband. Nigeria is tackling connectivity challenges with its ambitious National Broadband Alliance.The main goal of NBAN is to spearhead a coordinated national effort to provide everyone in the country with broadband connectivity. Important figures from the public and business sectors will come together as part of this collaboration. 

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
1 month ago

That’s great to hear about Nigeria’s National Broadband Alliance! It’s an ambitious initiative that aims to tackle the barriers to connectivity and encourage broadband adoption. This is a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring that more people have access to the benefits of the internet.
Broadband connectivity plays a crucial role in today’s digital age, enabling access to information, education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. By promoting broadband adoption, Nigeria can unlock the potential for innovation, economic growth, and social development.
It’s important that this initiative focuses not only on expanding infrastructure but also on making broadband services accessible and affordable for all. Addressing affordability and ensuring that rural and underserved areas have access to reliable internet connections will be key to achieving widespread adoption.
I’m excited to see how this National Broadband Alliance progresses and the positive impact it can have on Nigeria’s connectivity landscape. It’s a step in the right direction towards a more inclusive and connected society.