In furtherance to bridge the existing broadband gap and penetration in Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the commission would start the second phase of licensing the five new Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) soonest.
The first step of the licensing had commenced in 2014, and it is expected in this second phase, licensing the five Infrastructure InfraCos would bring to seven, the total number of companies issued with the permit.
The license would allow for the deployment of municipal fibre-optic infrastructure and associated transmission equipment on open access, non-discriminatory and price-regulated basis.
In a statement issued by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo the commission on behalf of the Federal Government announces its intention to commence Phase 2 – license of InfraCos for North East, North West, South-South, South-West and South-East zones.
“The InfraCos will deploy municipal fibre infrastructure within its assigned territory on open access, non-discriminatory, adjusted price basis,” Ojobo said.
Ojobo explained said that the open access model had been inspected and found to be a suitable model for optic fibre backbone infrastructure deployment in Nigeria to bridge the current broadband gap.
According to him, “the model will help deliver fast, reliable broadband services to households and businesses. “It is envisaged that this initiative will address the challenges of the congested transmission network and also mitigate the problems arising from infrastructure sharing and Rights of Way issues.
“In this project, the Federal Government shall provide financial support in the form of subsidy, which shall be competitively determined to facilitate rollout obligations,” he said.
According to Ojobo the Request for Proposal (RFP) document, detailing the commercial principles, key licensing conditions, and technical specifications would be advertised soon.
The commission is still putting finishing touches to the model of service roll-out for the licensees, adding that, “what we have done at NCC was to constitute a committee of officials of the Commission from relevant departments to look at the two licences that have been issued and come up with a licensing framework for the remaining InfraCos licences that we are about to issue”, he said.
“However, it is our hope that the remaining five licences would be issued sometime during the year. We don’t have the specific date but a committee has been working on that, analysing the licensing framework for the InfraCo licensing, but they would be licensed before the end of the year,” he assured.