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Broadband-famine despite abundant bandwidth

It’s like a country with excellent seaports but bandits rule the roads and highways. Welcome to Nigeria, which has awarded four 3G licenses in 2007. It also boasts of four submarine cables with an installed capacity of over 19.2 terabytes international bandwidth. The country was never short of hype. Theoretically, the Nigerians should be happily surfing the net. Listen to Ms. Funke Opeke, the charismatic CEO of a cable company, talking to Business Day:

The cost of moving internet traffic from Lagos to Abuja, according to her is four times higher than the cost of moving the same level of traffic from Lagos to London. This, she went on is because operators with huge fibre infrastructure have not embraced infrastructure sharing. “We strongly believe that it’s something government can set up in less than 60 days. It does not require years of study”, she stated.

Ms. Opeke cites examples of neighboring countries in another interview:

Comparing Nigeria with other African countries, Opeke said Kenya and Tanzania have gone far in Internet access penetration because the government of those countries built a nationwide infrastructure backbone and allowed the private sector to run it at a determined low cost and that every Internet Service Provider (ISPs) has equal access to available broadband capacities.

In 2005 LIRNEasia CEO Rohan Samarajiva has warned Bangladesh of Nigeria. Seven years later the notorious domestic backhaul policy of Nigeria remains unchanged.

Note: The state of infrastructure sharing in Bangladesh is worse than Nigeria. It will be discussed in due course of time.

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