The Nigerian Communications Commission has said the country’s broadband speed of 1.5 megabits per second will be upwardly reviewed.
Bako Wakil, NCC Head of Technical Standards and Network Integrity, made this known this during a panel session on: “Enhancing Broadband Infrastructure Access In Nigeria: Initiatives, Development and Challenges,” at the ongoing 2019 Social Media Week Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that SMW Lagos is Africa’s largest technology and media gathering and will run from February 4 to 8, 2019.
The theme for SMW Lagos 2019 is: “Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility.”
Wakil said: “Actually, our National Broadband Plan, when it was set in 2013, put the minimum speed as 1.5 megabits per second.
“However, that plan has ended at the end of 2018 and a new plan is being worked out and most likely the speed will be raised.
“As at today, depending on the the availability of infrastructure, there are countries that are talking about 10 megabits per second, even 20 megabits per second.
“So we are going to grow in that pace.
“So certainly the new broadband plan will look at something higher than what we have now.
“This is because what we are talking about is Internet of Things, we are talking about Artificial Intelligence, we are talking about things like driverless cars, devices being connected and talking to each other, hence, you need very high speed in order to achieve those things.”
Wakil said there was the need for a very huge data capacity that would enable not only people to communicate, but also household devices and equipments talking to themselves.
According to him, the country needs to put together both fixed and mobile broadband strategy. He said the commission had identified strategic and necessary spectrum in order to roll out broadband services.
Wakil said broadband played an important part in the socio-economic life of people.
The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Nnamdi Nwokike, said broadband in Nigeria context meant having a minimum of 1.5 Mbps speed when one communicates.
Nwokike said in 2013, the country set a five-year plan, which ended in 2018.
He said: “By 2013, we had a six per cent achievement of penetration of broadband in the country and there was a target of 30 per cent, which was by the end of 2018.
“Right now in our country, we have exceeded that target by November 2018.
“As a matter of fact, by November 2018, we were doing 32 per cent and if you add what we have in December 2018, we quite exceeded the target.
“This whole thing about social media requires a speed that is acceptable for the whole platforms to work in a way that will be exciting.
“So, we believe that going forward we will work in setting another milestone, another target that we are going to pursue and we will make sure that we fast track internet penetration in our country and at the right speed.”