Nigeria’s internet users decry poor services

It was a tale of woes by internet data users at the 10th anniversary of the Telecom Consumers Parliament on Friday in Lagos as they complained of high costs and services being offered not being commensurate with money paid.

Mr Muyideen Mohammed, one of the consumers, said that his modem was always disconnecting whenever he tried to connect the Internet. He said that he had been forced to change his Internet service provider as a result of his experience.

Mr Paul Chukwumezie, another subscriber, said that the speed of the Internet services offered by the operators was frustrating. It sometimes takes more than two minutes for a Website to download, he said.

An e-centre: complaints about high cost and poor service
An e-centre: complaints about high cost and poor service

Mr Samuel Idoko said that there was the need to reduce the price for data, as 200MB (megabytes) was purchased for N1, 000 in all the networks.

They spoke at a programme organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the theme “Broadband Penetration: An Imperative for National Development’’.

The complainants however got some assurances from the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, who said that government was aware that high level of broadband penetration would result in affordability and greater access to telecoms/ICT facilities and services.

Johnson said that the Federal Government set up a “Presidential Committee on Broadband’’ to come up with a five viable plans, to address broadband challenges.

She said the committee developed and came up with a National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2013-2018, with a clear roadmap to achieving greater penetration.

“One of the provisions of the plan is the establishment of a Broadband Council to ensure that the plan is implemented in full.

“The council is already inaugurated and working in earnest to deliver on mandate, which is 100 per cent broadband penetration in the country,” the minister said.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah, said that the next revolution in the commission’s regulatory agenda was ‘broadband revolution’.

Juwah said the government had taken several steps, including the articulation of the NBP, to accelerate broadband penetration.

He said government was providing an enabling environment for the development of infrastructure that would support the growth and access to broadband services at affordable cost to consumers.

Juwah said the framework to support broadband infrastructure had been fully articulated, and was being implemented by the commission, as reflected in the ‘Open Access Model’ adopted for the country.

“The recent successful auctioning of one slot of 30MHz bandwidth in the 2.3GHz spectrum in February is a step toward the successful rollout of broadband services, through the open access framework in Nigeria.

“The impact of broadband penetration on national development is immense, as it stimulates economic growth.

“Broadband penetration will increase productivity, provide citizens access to government activities, as well as enhance e-application initiatives,” he said.

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