Open Access Model, a Pathway to Broadband in Nigeria

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NCC, corporate headofice

From Benjamin a ameh, Lagos

There is need for cost effective, widespread deployment of robust national and metropolitan optic fibre transmission network in the telecom industry.

The Management of Nigerian Communications Commission NCC has come up with a new strategy as part of the mission to achieve global economic competiveness at the consultative forum on ‘Open Access Model’ held recently.

Effective deployment would include ensuring an even playing field where infrastructure sharing takes place. Thus, the commission is committed to putting in place a new broadband deployment environment through an ‘Open Access Model’ in line with the National Broadband Plan.

The Open Access Model has been examined as the model for optic fibre transmission network deployment to bridge the current gap and deliver fast and reliable broadband services too households and businesses.

The Model is also envisaged to address the challenges of congested and unplanned towns, the challenges around infrastructure sharing and other issues such as high cost of Right of way.

Furthermore, the Open Access Model will potentially help optimize the cost of broadband access across Nigeria and ensure that all operators, whether large or small, have equal access to broadband infrastructure. In this regard, the National Broadband Network NBN is envisaged to be an open access carrier-neutral backbone and metropolitan fibre network that encourages service innovation.

 The NBN framework will provide an open access, non-discriminatory and non-exclusive pricing too all service providers. The objective of this initiative is to stimulate a new national broadband network that is not only more widespread but also faster and more secure than what is available today; thereby stimulating other sectors of the economy and leading to higher economic development for Nigeria.

In addition, it will offer efficient connectivity as well as ultra high speed broadband services that are available, affordable and sustainable.

The following highlights the salient principles for a national open access broadband network.

“Nationwide fibre penetration can be achieved by extending the backbone fibre infrastructure network beyond state capitals into metropolitan areas in Nigeria         

“Non-discriminatory and open access should be adopted because the present operators’ duplicates their fibre infrastructure on some routes while there is lack open access to fibre infrastructure in other areas.

 “Optimized deployment strategy has carefully worked out by NCC as it set to provide nationwide backbone and metropolitan fibre coverage.

“Co-operation of existing operators is needed in order to move towards the long term deployment of a robust nationwide, comprehensive backbone and metropolitan fibre infrastructure.”

Above all NCC is responsible for providing an enabling environment for healthy competition among service providers in the telecom industry as well as the protection of consumers in this fastest growing sector.       

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