The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta, has restated that the Commission will not rest on its oars in ensuring that subscribers gets affordable and accessible broadband services at a price, in line with international best practices.
He made this known at the “Stakeholders’ Forum on the study for the determination of cost based pricing for retail broadband and data services” held in Lagos.According to him Nigerian Telecommunications industry has undoubtedly recorded significant growth over the years and the impact and benefits that come with this growth cuts across every segment of the Nigerian economy and the lives of its citizenry.
“Whilst the Commission is happy with this phenomenal growth recorded in the industry, especially in active voice subscriptions, we believe that the next critical phase is to ensure that everyone – wherever they live, and whatever their circumstances – have access to the benefits of broadband and this can only happen with the pervasive deployment of broadband infrastructure and services across the country considering the potential of broadband as a key enabler of national productivity, economic growth and development, social inclusion and cultural enrichment” he stated
He added that, affordability and accessibility of broadband services however is largely determined by the prices that are charged for those services.Therefore ensuring that prices charged for retail broadband and data services are cost based in line with international best practice is critical to the deployment and uptake of broadband and data services in Nigeria.
Danbatta stated that, in line with the Commission’s mandate of creating an enabling environment and promoting fair competition in the telecoms industry and in line with the strategic objectives of the National Broadband Plan, it has therefore become imperative to develop a proper pricing structure for broadband in Nigeria.This will not only ensure the affordability and availability of Broadband but also ensure fair competition by checking price discrimination, excessive pricing, predatory pricing, margin squeeze and price fixing amongst other things.
The Commission to this end, appointed Messrs’ KPMG to carried out a thorough selection process and price based study, amongst other things:Consistent with the Commission’s principle of ensuring participatory regulation, this Stakeholders’ Forum is held not only to formally introduce the Project Consultant to Industry Stakeholders but also to formally kick-start the project.
Danbatta reiterated the Commission’s obligation in create a level playing field for all operators, and as such, shall ensure that pricing of Retail Broadband and Data Services reflect the cost of deploying the services on the network.
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