The Federal Government is currently working on resolving the perennial Right of Way (RoW) challenges that has hindered improved connectivity in Nigeria and stalled the drive for broadband revolution in the country. And, according to Guardian Nigeria, there are indications that the Federal Government has plans to lay 18, 000 kilometer fibre optic cables to further help the country in meeting and surpassing the 30% broadband penetration target set by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for 2018.
The Guardian learnt that this new drive is being championed by the Presidency and that four operators have been selected to lay the fibre cable. They include MainOne; IHS Nigeria Limited; Broadbased Limited and Phase3 Communications.
First of all, Nigeria's broadband penetration is reportedly at 20.95%, according to the NCC. But the NCC also mentions a lot of numbers. In September 2017, the NCC put the number of internet users in Nigeria at 93 million.
But the “internet users” is a broad stroke that includes subscribers who pay for internet access (dial-up, leased line and fixed broadband) and people who have access without paying directly, either as a member of a household or from work, school, a public library or internet café. In other words,
a lie an exaggeration.
And when the internet penetration gets to 30%, will it reduce data costs? What positive impact will it have on Nigerians who previously didn't have internet access, aside from additional cost? Our
really bad internet is also really expensive, so where's the good really? The current minimum wage in Nigeria is N18,000; 2% of that is N360. 1GB of data in Nigeria is at least N700 (from Airtel lol) which is 3.7% of the minimum wage. Nigeria has more expensive internet access relative to minimum wage.
Let's not speak of quality. 4G networks work like 2G, and once you're on 3G, well, it's a GPRS life. So, who does this broadband penetration schtick really help?