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NCC Gives Nine Reasons as 568 Licensed ISPs Becomes Inactive

NCC Gives Nine Reasons as 568 Licensed ISPs Become Inactive

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has revealed that the commission licensed 756 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as at March 2022, out of which only 188 ISPs are active.

The telecommunications regulator further disclosed that about 568 licensed ISPs have become inactive.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Danbatta at the Telecoms Sector Sustainability Forum (TSSF) organised by Business Remarks in Lagos themed “Examining the Nigerian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Viability in a Digitized Environment”.

Danbatta who was ably represented by the Zonal Controller, Mr Yomi Arowosafe noted that the total subscribers for data services in Nigeria as at February 2022 stood at 144 million.

The NCC Boss however stated that the reasons for the inactive ISPs are combinations of some challenges.

Danbatta attributed their challenges to anti- competition issues, standardising the price of bandwidth, the need to open different spectrum bands 32GHz,42GHz and 60GHz for the last mile Internet access, low internet access in the Northern region in the county due to insecurity challenges.

Others include challenges of Right of Way (RoW) and conclusion of standardization with the State Government, multiple taxation, deployment of Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) compactible to all service providers, lack of Company Corporate Code of Governance, lack of Code of Practice for Internet Service Providers.

Consequently, the NCC boss said that deliberate policies and regulations are being looked at in the Commission in ensuring that ISPs and other smaller players in the industry thrive.

Also Read: Nigerian ISPs Make N59.99 Billion Revenue in 2021 as Active Subscription Rises by 4%

He listed some measures the Commission embarked upon to promote fair play and orderly development of the Nigerian Communication ecosystem as well as boost the competitiveness of the industry to include providing the required regulatory frameworks and interventions in terms of policies, guidelines determinations etc, that will encourage fair play in the telecommunications industry.

“Encourging and mandating more openness and transparency in the activities of stakeholders within the industry in order to ensure healthy competition practices amongst competiting licensees.

“Promoting digitization efforts across the length and breadth of the economy, commitment to full realization of the objectives of the Nigerian Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

“Actively engaging in strategic collaboration with stakeholders who have crucial roles to play in the growth and development of the Nigerian economy with emphasis in the telecommunications sector and licensing of 3.5GHz which will create an enabling environment for Internet Service Providers to thrive in Nigeria.”

Danbatta also noted that the commission encourges industry stakeholders to seek and explore opportunities.

While applauding Business Remarks for the Forum, Danbatta posited that digitization of the economy can only come into being when the ISPs are fully encouraged and that is what the Commission is focusing on to ensure the enabling environment is created through the development of regulatory instruments that will address the concerns of ISPs in particular and the telecommunication sector at large.

Earlier in her opening speech, TSSF lead strategist and Managing Director, Bukola Olanrewaju said ISPs in the Nigeriane tlecommunications industry have been struggling to stay afloat due to challenges confronting their market to remain in business, expand operations and post profit every financial year.

“Findings has also showed that most of the ISPs who served the enterprise market lost revenue during the pandemic because their services were cancelled or suspended, despite procuring wholesale capacity”, Bukola noted.

The event also enjoyed the sponsorship and participation of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Skymax Integrated Network Limited, IPNX, eStream Networks, WTES Projects Limited, MangoNet Integrated Technologies, FibreOne Broadband, Dotmac Technologies, ICSL, NITDA.

 

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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