ATCON Calls For Deregulation Of InfraCo Licensing Regime | Independent Newspapers Limited
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ATCON Calls For Deregulation Of InfraCo Licensing Regime

Posted: Mar 21, 2016 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emmanuel Okwuke, Lagos

The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has decried the  snail pace processes in the licensing of the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) to drive broadband infrastructure deployments in the country.
Mr. Lanre Ajayi, president, ATCON, told the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) this when the organisation paid a courtesy visit to the NCC headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, the association is concerned that licensing of InfraCo operators is being unduly delayed, even as it is limited to one operator per defined geographic zone.
It would be recalled that the telecoms regulator in 2013 in its  bid to ensure that broadband gets to the nooks and crannies of the country,  established the  InfraCo to roll out a national fibre optic network  under a Presidential plan to boost high speed Internet services across Nigeria. ?
The proposed InfraCo is envisaged to aggregate fibre optic links of other existing operators and will also get a one-off subsidy from government, according to the NCC document detailing the planned road map.?
Speaking on the plan, Ajayi said, “We applaud the NCC for coming up with concept of InfraCo. We believe it has the capability to address the issue of non openness to back haul access.
“However, we are concerned that licensing of Infraco operators are being unduly delayed. We are also particularly concerned that license is being limited to one operator per defined geographic zone. We believe having just one operator in a zone creates monopoly and it may inadvertently bring us back to the dreadful days of NITEL.
He continued; “We canvass for multiplicity of license per zone. This will not only create options and competition but will also increase diversity on variuos routes where cables are to be laid thereby increasing reliability on our networks?”.