Improved Broadband Penetration will drive Nigeria’s Economic Development-Venn, CEO Spectranet 4GLTE

Mr. David Venn, Chief Executive Officer of Spectranet has identified improved broadband penetration as a catalyst for Nigeria economic development.

Mr. Venn stated this during a panel discussion with key stakeholders from the information and communication industry at the BusinessDay Broadband Summit 2017, themed, Broadband as an Enabler of Economic Growth.

The discussion, “Broadband for All by 2018”, moderated by Mrs. Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, attracted submissions from Spectranet CEO, Mr. Venn, Mr. Kamar Abass, Chief Executive Officer, Ntel, Mr. Lanre Kolade, Managing Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Mr. Olubayo Adekanbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria and Mr. Tenu Awoonor, Director Strategy and Performance Management, Airtel Nigeria.

Mr. Venn said, ‘’Broadband is capable of creating more impact on people’s lives than was achieved by the rollout of mobile phones. Through broadband, you have access to all the knowledge on the Internet, can run global businesses from anywhere and can reach customers across the globe.”.

Mr Venn identified one of the key reasons why broadband was not already widely available across Nigeria. He said “if we look three to four years ahead and imagine that most towns and cities in Nigeria have broadband, then an important enabler for this would be the availability of a national fibre network connecting all places to the submarine landing stations in Lagos.” Mr Venn called for the establishment of an independent National Fibre Backbone company, set up possibly on a similar basis as the recently licensed metropolitan Infracos. However, he added that for such an operation to make meaningful progress, it would need to be granted powers to build the infrastructure without hindrance and fees imposed by State and other authorities. Such a network would be a huge enabler for the rollout of broadband and would become a key asset for the nation accelerating Nigeria’s drive towards an e-economy.

Mr Venn also reflected on the deteriating quality of service experienced by many mobile phone users and put this down to a lack of capacity due to the huge increase in data now being carried. ‘‘The industry stakeholders need to work together in terms of collaboration (regulators, government, Internet Service Providers and Telecommunication companies)”. He suggested that Government and the NCC could take a strong leadership role to bring sanity to the sector and ensure that anti-competitive practices did not lead to customers having to suffer poor quality of service.

The Broadband Summit is organized annually by BusinessDay newspaper to highlight and tackle broadband challenges in Nigeria.


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