Broadband penetration hits record of 45 per cent, says Pantami

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The Federal Government Wednesday announced that broadband penetration has hit a record of 45. 43 percent to drive the nation’s economy, especially the telecom industry.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, who made this known, said the feat was achieved by the end of October.

“This is due to an increase of 4,061,731 broadband subscriptions between September and October 2020,” Pantami added.

A statement by the Minister’s Technical aide, Dr Femi Adeluyi attributed the increase to “conscientious implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for the overall benefit Nigeria.”

In particular, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), along with the harmonization of Right of Way charges across the States and protection of Critical National Infrastructure across the country, amongst others, have had a significant impact on the broadband penetration, Pantami said.

He said “broadband is critical to sustainable economic growth and according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Series, broadband contributes to economic growth through more efficiency in business processes, acceleration of innovation, and more efficient functional deployment of enterprises.

“A Report titled “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development” shows that a 10 per cent increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In some countries, it increases the GDP by over 6 per cent.

“The increase in broadband penetration is leading to the growth of Nigeria’s economy in a way that transcends the ICT sector.

“Broadband has supported the growth and enabled financial institutions in the delivery of services to their customers. It has also enabled the provision of digital services across the different sectors of the economy.”

The Minister has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the regulators of Internet services, to ensure that quality of service improves, the statement noted.

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