The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said Google’s funded Equiano subsea cable will lead to cheaper Internet services and higher broadband penetration.
He said this when a delegation from Google Global Services Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja recently.
This was contained in a press statement on Thursday by the NCC titled ‘NCC, Google Collaborate to Drive Nigeria’s Digital Transformation ‘.
During the visit, the NCC EVC was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska.
The statement read in part, “The EVC expressed optimism that Google’s investment in the subsea cable, Equiano, which is expected to land in Nigeria by end of April 2022, will be more impactful in driving NCC’s ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, 2020-2025, aimed at increasing broadband penetration to 70 per cent by 2025.”
The EVC representative was quoted as saying, “I am hopeful that Equiano will have additional landing points in the hinterlands through collaborative efforts with the licensed Infrastructure Companies to reduce retail data prices significantly and thereby complementing the Commission’s efforts at ensuring affordable Internet services are available to boost the Commission’s ongoing broadband policy drive.”
The Director, Google West Africa, Juliet Ehimuan, who led the delegation to NCC, asserted that Google’s commitment of $1bn across five years in various interventions will support digital transformation in Nigeria and across Africa.
She added that research has proven that Africa will have an additional 300 million Internet users and Nigeria will take the lead, having 141 million internet subscribers and broadband penetration of over 40.88 per cent as of January 2022.
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