NCC to license 5 Infrastructure companies to bridge broadband gap

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday said it would soon commence the second phases of the licensing of five new Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in the country, to bridge existing broadband gap.

The Director, Public Affairs of NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo said in a statement that the licensing of the five InfraCos would bring to seven, the total number of companies issued with the licence.

“NCC on behalf of the Federal Government announces its intension to commence Phase 2 – license of Infracos for North East, North West, South-South, South West and South East zones.

“The InfraCos will deploy metropolitan fibre infrastructure within its assigned territory on an open access, non-discriminatory, price regulated basis,” Ojobo said.

He said that the open access model had been examined and found to be an appropriate 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 congested transmission network and also mitigate the challenges 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.

Ojobo said that the Request for Proposal (RFP) document, detailing the commercial principles, key licensing conditions and technical specifications would be advertised soon.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MainOne and IHS were in 2014, licensed to deploy infrastructure for Lagos area and North Central, respectively.

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