Broadband penetration in the country has increased to 45.43% by the end of October 2020.
Recall, it was reported that broadband penetration was placed at 42% in the month of July.
According to the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the increase is due to an increase of 4,061,731 broadband subscriptions between September and October 2020.
This notable increase in broadband penetration has been as a result of conscientious implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for the overall benefit of the economy to achieve a Digital Nigeria.
In particular, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), along with the harmonization of Right of Way charges across the States and protection of Critical National Infrastructure across the country, amongst others, have had a significant impact on the broadband penetration.
Broadband is critical to sustainable economic growth and according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Series, broadband contributes to economic growth through more efficiency in business processes, acceleration of innovation and more efficient functional deployment of enterprises.
A Report titled “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development” shows that 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In some countries, it increases the GDP by over 6%.
The increase in broadband penetration is leading to the growth of Nigeria’s economy in a way that transcends the ICT sector. Broadband has supported growth and enabled financial institutions in the delivery of services to their customers. It has also enabled the provision of digital services across the different sectors of the economy.
It is noteworthy that all these are part of the digital economy, which has been defined as “that part of economic output derived solely or primarily from digital technologies with a business model based on digital goods or services” – consisting of the digital sector plus emerging digital and platform services.
The Minister has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the regulators of Internet services, to ensure that quality of service improves.
In addition, Pantami urged all stakeholders to keep supporting the Ministry in the implementation of the Broadband Plan for the overall benefit of the economy.