NCC begins selection for Open Access Broadband [Sun, The (Nigeria)]
(Sun, The (Nigeria) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Plans by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to deploy affordable broadband services across the country has begun with an invitation to Infrastructure companies, otherwise known as Infracos, to submit bids for the first phase of the programme, which will cover Lagos State and North Central zone of the country.
In the notice of invitation to interested bidders, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Infracos would be expected to deploy metropolitan optic fibre infrastructure and associated transmission equipment in Lagos State and North Central Zone on an open access, nondiscriminatory, price regulated basis.
Juwah explained that the Open Access Model adopted by the commission "has been examined and considered as a strategic means for the deployment of optic fibre backbone transmission infrastructure network in Nigeria that will bridge the current broadband gap, facilitate the development of local content and deliver cost effective services to households and businesses."
He also stated that it was envisaged to address the challenges of fibre deployment in towns and cities, promote infrastructure sharing, reduce Right of Way issues and transform the beneficiary states to smart states, among others.
Juwah informed that competent companies or a consortium of which at least one must be a Nigerian registered company
or firms including those who had earlier expressed interest are invited to submit tender for consideration.
The NCC boss had recently told the Senate Committee about the planned commencement of the full scale implementation of the broadband expansion programme after full consultations with the industry and the international community, including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which has supported the commission in the implementation of the programme, that it will be very transparent with the application of international best practice.
In the bid document for the selection process and criteria, which is available on the NCC website, the submission of bids from interested companies will end on August 4, 2014.
Meanwhile, the NCC has commiserated with the family and friends of the Nnama Royal Family of Nibo, Anambra
State, over the death of Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma Nnama, former Executive Vice Chairman of the commission. The late Nnama was shot dead by unknown men in his village, Nibo, on March 27, 2014, and will be buried on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at Ezilowo Haven, Nibo, Anambra State.
In a condolence message after his demise, the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, regretted that the life of Nnama who served the commission at a critical transition period after the military, with the elected civilian government, was cut short in an unfortunate circumstance.
"It is most regrettable that the life of this statesman was cut short by unknown gunmen in his home town, Nibo, at the prime of his retirement after a meritorious service to the nation," he said.
He said during his stint as the EVC of NCC, the late Nnama displayed an uncommon passion in the promotion of the potentials of telecommunications as a catalyst for national development.
"When the history of the nation's telecommunications development is written, Nnama will occupy a meritorious space for his contributions towards accelerated deregulation of the industry and the transformation witnessed in the industry from 2001," he said.
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