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‘Take fibre optic to homes of customers’

- Minister urges telecoms operators

August 24, 2015

Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, has urged internet service providers (ISPs) and telecommunication companies to collaborate with government in developing a sustainable open access network (ECOSYSTEM) to enhance knowledge and digital prosperity in the country.

Addressing ISPs and telecom operators at the conference room of the ministry on 18 August, the minister articulated the need for the private sector to collaborate with government in providing high speed internet service and rural telephony to unserved and underserved communities across the country.

He noted that government has an obligation to provide internet and communication service to the people in every nook and cranny of the country, irrespective of their economic status, adding that in spite of the fact that some rural communities are not economically viable, they must not be deprived of the opportunity to communicate. Thus, he said, the private sector must ensure that they work with government in order to provide telephony access to remote communities so that people living in those areas will have an opportunity to connecting with their relatives in other parts of the country.

The minister alluded to huge strides government has been making in building a critical infrastructure, noting that the latter has laid the fibre optic cable from which the private sector will need to explore and exploit the huge potentials available therein and improve on the country’s ICT landscape.

Minister Kanu encouraged ISPs and telecom operators to work with the government so that they can spread their tentacles to cover all rural areas before the end of 2015, in order to save people in these communities from climbing trees in search of network.

He assured his audience that the government is ready to work with the private sector to improve communication across the country. “I would like to have a cobweb of fibre connectivity to reach and every corner of the country. With your ideas and business intentions, coupled with government’s willingness to open up the country, the vast potentials in the ICT sector will be tapped and communication access will be improved,” opined the minister.

After applauding the government for what they refer to as a viable venture, the ISPs and telecom operators present at the meeting unanimously agreed and assured the minister that they are ready and willing to join government in doing the last mile so that the fibre optic will be taken to the homes of customers.

They also assured they will support government in providing rural telephony so that remote communities that are not economically viable will also enjoy the privilege of access to communication.