Lagos – The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has said that it had deployed 79 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in unserved and underserved communities across the country.
The Secretary of USPF, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano, told newsmen in Lagos that the deployment of the base stations was to bridge the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) gap between viable and non-viable areas in Nigeria.
Maikano said that the USPF implemented its mandates through its two main programmes of Connectivity and Access.
He said that projects designed under the ‘Connectivity Programme’ were being implemented to facilitate the rapid deployment of ICT infrastructure in areas where services would not be commercially viable.
According to him, projects implemented under the programme include BTS Project, Backbone Transmission Network (BTRAIN) Project, Rural Broadband Infrastructure (RuBI) Project and University Inter Campus Connectivity (UnICC) Project.
“The BTS project is an intervention of the USPF through the facilitation of wireless network coverage expansion to the rural, unserved and underserved areas and communities across the country.
“Under this project, the USPF provides incentives through subsidies to industry operators to deploy the BTS infrastructure and associated equipment that will provide access to voice telephony and data services.
“This is important since most of the time, deployment of telephone and other ICT services by operators are often concentrated in urban areas for economic reasons.
“So far, 79 BTS have been deployed across different communities and providing access to about 10 million people,” he said.
Maikano said that another project undertaken by the fund under the Connectivity Programmen was the ‘RuBI project’ which was aimed at facilitating wireless broadband network rollout in rural, semi rural areas and towns.
He added that the project was to ensure that end users had internet access at broadband speed.
According to him, the project will also provide an efficient bandwidth distribution network that will serve as a platform for extension and distribution of broadband internet access in rural areas.
The secretary said that the service would be offered at both wholesale and retail rates and at the same time serve as a catalyst for the uptake of other technologies centred around the internet such as e-library, e-health and e-government.
“Thus far, 11 pilot RuBI sites have been completed across the six geo-political zones.
‘The outcome of the project is the wide spread availability of broadband internet services such as internet browsing, email, VoIP and electronic testing services,” he added.

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