Tuesday , December 7 2021

Expert Debunks NCC’s 33% Broadband Penetration Claim



Information Technology Expert, Gbenga Sesan has debunked the Nigerian Communications Commission’s claim of achieving 33% broadband penetration, Business Remarks can authoritatively report.

Sesan who is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, while speaking with our correspondent noted that Nigeria broadband penetration will be placed at 10% if the specification drafted in the National Broadband Plan is truly followed.

It would be recalled that during the regime of the former Communications Minister, Dr Omobola Johnson, the country set a five-year National Broadband Plan, which ran from 2013 to 2018, with the target of a minimum of 30 per cent broadband penetration from the five per cent it had in 2013.

In December 2018, NCC data indicated that the country had attained a broadband penetration of 31.48 per cent.

More so, the Federal Government recently announced it will ensure to achieve 70% broadband penetration in the next five years.

However, to support his claim, Sesan told Business Remarks that he was part of the committee that drafted Nigeria Broadband plan with the former President, Goodluck Jonathan and the former communications minister, Omobola Johnson

According to him, there was a specific metric chosen to calculate broadband in Nigeria.

“We defined the parameters for broadband with two key things. One is the speed must be 1.5Megabit per second, which is a good speed. Typically when you browse on your phone, it goes from 30kbps.

“The second technical definition we gave for broadband is that; upon watching the video, it shouldn’t buffer.

“Of course with the measure Government gave, it will surely buffer because it was not 1.5Mbit/s”, Sesan explained to Business Remarks.

An investigation carried out by Business Remarks shows that traditionally the term broadband referred to high-speed communications networks that connected end-users at a data transfer speed greater than 256Kbit/s.

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However, broadband within the Nigerian context (according to National Broadband Plan) is defined as an internet experience where the user can access the most demanding content in real-time at a minimum speed of 1.5Mbit/s.

Speaking further, Sesan said what the government counted as broadband did not qualify for both, because they opted for the measure set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) which wasn’t the parameters we set.

“What NCC and the Federal Government did was purely political, which is just for the election so that they can say they met the deadline.

“The ITU sets a lower bar for obvious reasons. If we are to go with the designed metric, penetration will be less than 10%, lesser than one-third of what the government lied about.

To prove that Nigeria penetration is less than 10%, Sesan told BusinessRemarks  that the broadband plan 2012- 2018 do not just factor in mobile terrestrial broadband in Nigeria today is less than 21%.

In its bid to buttress his point, Sesan decried NCC moves upon meeting the deadline.

“When a document defines a metric, one has to stick to it during evaluation. Nigerian should stop deceiving itself. Let’s just stop lying about this number. All bottlenecks should be eliminated.

To prove that Nigeria penetration is less than 10%, he told BusinessRemarks that the broadband plan 2012- 2018 do not just factor in mobile but terrestrial inclusive.

Terrestrial broadband in Nigeria today is less than 21% but mobile has helped.
If mobile qualified by having nothing lesser than 1.5 Mbit/s and it doesn’t buffer, that’s fine.

In its bid to buttress his point, Sesan decried NCC moves upon meeting deadline.

“When a document defines a metric, one have to stick to it during evaluation.

In addition, Sesan recommended that Nigerian should stop deceiving itself.

“Let’s just stop lying about this number, these numbers are not real, they are much lower. Let’s face the truth

“All politics and bottlenecks should be eliminated so as to liberate the tech space. Broadband is a new GSM. We recommended that a cable that can contain more pipes should be laid” he said.


About Bukola Olanrewaju

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