• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Nigeria’s broadband penetration sees a 1.9 percent increase in January

NCC refute report of N17bn deficit in 2021 budget

Nigeria’s broadband penetration is starting on a good note as it saw a modest pick up in January 2022 at 41.6 percent, compared to the figure it recorded in December 2021 at 40.8 percent, data from the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) shows.

This development broke the record set in August 2021 slightly by 1.4 percent, being the highest in a period of five months (August–December) 2021.

The modest growth recorded in January is on the back of the NCC’s lifting of the prohibition on new card sales and activation after a temporary halt on sales to allow for the National Identification Number (NIN) and SIM card integration exercise.

Broadband penetration is defined as the number of subscriptions to fixed and mobile broadband services divided by the number of residents in each country.

According to the data, total broadband connections climbed by 1.7 percent month-on-month to over 79 million. Although total internet connections are 143.5 million, with a penetration rate of around 41 percent, experts say most of these connections are on low-speed internet networks.

As a result, the significance of broadband internet cannot be overstated in terms of data speeds and applications, as well as its impact on economic growth.

Read also: NCC pledges robust digital infrastructure to boost financial services

In relation to peers, Nigeria’s broadband penetration lags that of South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya, with penetration rates of approximately 113, 74, and 48 percent respectively, according to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

According to the ITU, a 10 percent rise in broadband penetration is anticipated to result in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent for low- and middle-income nations, respectively.

Recognizing the importance of broadband, the federal government has set an ambitious broadband penetration target of 90 percent of the population and 70 percent of geographical landmass by 2025.

“We developed the National Broadband Plan 2020-2030, which targets a 90 percent penetration rate in terms of population and a 70 percent rate in terms of our total landmass within the next two years. It also targets a speed of 25mbps for urban areas while a 10mbps speed is targeted for rural areas,” Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy said.

Given the modest pace of new connections, experts say the broadband target seems daunting. Also, the nation needs higher capital investment to be able to implement its new broadband plan.

As broadband penetration shows a significant transformative impact on how people live and work, it also empowers subscribers with a global reach.