LAGOS – Ms  Sonia Jorge, the Executive Director of Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI), has called for effective implementation of Nigeria’s Broadband Plan 2013-2018.
Jorge told newsmen in Lagos that proper execution of the plan would ensure affordability of Internet service.
She said that effective implementation of the Broadband Plan 2013-2018 would also enable the country to get the desired broadband penetration.
According to her, the plan provides a solid foundation but that the challenge always lies with implementation.
“Nigeria’s Broadband Plan 2013-2014 is a step in the right direction. It articulates exactly how Nigeria intends to increase broadband penetration five-fold to 30 per cent within the next five years.
“It presents a time-bound plan for implementation. The successful execution of key parts of the plan like the development of sustainable and efficient open access fibre optic networks is critical,’’ she said.
The A4AI executive director said that Nigeria had witnessed some impressive ICT developments in recent years.
She said that the mobile telephone growth and dramatic increases in international bandwidth due to the landing of new submarine cables had created opportunities.
Jorge, however, said that broadband penetration rates remained disappointingly low, and prices remained too high for the vast majority of Nigerians to enjoy the socio-economic benefits that broadband access delivered.
According to her, broadband remains unaffordable for Nigerians as fixed-line broadband subscription cost an average of 39 per cent of average income.
She also that the subscription for mobile broadband package hovered around 13 per cent.
“Reflecting the high cost of broadband in the country, in 2013 Nigeria was ranked 142 out of 169 countries by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the affordability of fixed-broadband connection.
“The country was also ranked 99 out of 126 countries for a prepaid 500MB mobile broadband connection,’’ Jorge said.
Nigeria’s vision in the broadband plan is to become a society of connected communities with high-speed Internet and broadband access that facilitate faster socio-economic advancement of the nation and its people.