Fix power problem to deliver Nigerian broadband access – ITU

Fix power problem to deliver Nigerian broadband access – ITU

Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos. CC image courtesy of Benji Robertson.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has said solving the lingering power crisis in Nigeria is crucial to the success of current efforts aimed at increasing the delivery of broadband across the nation.

In its report entitled “Strategies for the Promotion of Broadband Services and Infrastructure: a Case Study of Nigeria”, the ITU highlighted strategies currently underway in Nigeria to enhance broadband penetration in Africa’s largest nation, and urged the government to partner with other stakeholders to ensure power supply does not become a major stumbling block in improving broadband access nationwide.

“Efforts to deliver broadband across Nigeria will be a mirage unless the key problem of power is addressed by government in partnership with stakeholders across the ecosystem,” the ITU said.

It also decried the incessant cable cuts resulting from road repair and construction projects and other civil activities. Other challenges it identified were cable theft and acts of vandalism.

“Road repairs and other civil activity usually result in network breakage, while criminal theft of cables with the hope of selling them is another common form of vandalism. These are undermining efforts by broadband investors to seamlessly deliver high speed internet services,” it said.

“The most common form of vandalism is criminals digging up the fibre in the expectation that they will uncover copper cable that can be sold.”

It called for adequate coordination during civil works such as road construction to prevent prolonged periods of service disruption, and advised the government to become active in solving the various problems it has identified.

“The government needs to spot emerging problems like vandalism and be quick to help rather than waiting to see what happens,” the ITU said.

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