Zinox Technologies Ltd., Nigeria’s foremost indigenous Information Technology powerhouse, has promised to connect the entire South East region to the information super-highway, with the rollout of broadband connectivity in the 95 local government areas in the region.
The assurance was given by Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.
The NCC boss made this known on Tuesday while speaking at the Anambra State Broadband Infrastructure Development Stakeholders Forum.
Zinox, a globally-renowned tech giant, is one of the infrastructure companies (InfraCos) licensed by the Federal Government to roll out metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructureacross Nigeria. The InfraCos are expected to fill critical infrastructure gaps and enable high-speed broadband service in the various geopolitical zones, with Zinox licensed to deploy the services in the South East region as part of the soon-to-evolve broadband revolution in the country.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ forum, Danbatta reiterated the role of Zinox in the emerging digital revolution in the South East. Further, he hailed the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano for waiving the contentious Right of Way charges.
Right of Way charge is a levy paid by telecommunication companies to state governments, permitting telecommunication companies to dig up the roads and install telecommunications hardware such as optic fibre cables that carry internet traffic.
Danbatta said: “Under this initiative, the South-East Infraco licensee (Messrs. Zinox Technologies Ltd.) will be required to provide at least one Point-of-Access (PoA) in each of the 95 LGA’s that constitute the region and interconnect them with 1,314m of Optic Fibre Cable (OFC).
“Right-of-Way (RoW) charges is a major limiting factor to provision of broadband services in Nigeria, as it slows down network deployment with the cost of the limited capacities ultimately passed to the subscribers. I must applaud His Excellency and Anambra state, who is one of the two states that have not just reduced the Right of Way charges offered to operators, but waived it completely. For this, we are eternally grateful. This action, is sure, to put Anambra State on the global map of Digital Economy.’’
The multi-billion Naira project, by Zinox has been hailed by economy watchers and other analysts as a potential game-changer, with the capacity to create jobs and other employment opportunities for millions, place the South East on the path of rapid development and unleash the sheer latent capacities of the youths and budding human capital in the region – a fact acknowledged by the NCC EVC.
“Result of study has shown that for every 10 percent increase in Broadband penetration, there is a corresponding 1.38% increase in GDP,’’ said Danbatta.
‘‘This RoW waiver, will also make Anambra State more attractive to network operators and attract investment in the infrastructure needed to support economic wellbeing of your Excellency’s economic jurisdiction. Giving up the RoW fees today is like separating seed that you will sow to guaranty a prosperous future (Digital foundation) in numerous thematic areas: Commerce, Education, Agriculture, Finance and Trade Education Health and Social, Business and Industry, Transport and energy, Safety and Security etc.,’’ he concluded.
Zinox was licensed based on the NCC’s Open Access Model (OAM) in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) of (2013 – 2018) now revised to (2020 – 2025).
By the provisions of the NBP, Nigeria is expected to attain significantly improved data download speeds: a minimum of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage).