Airtel calls for better regulation in Nigeria

CEO of Airtel Nigeria calls on government to consider new broadband policies.
Poor regulation is hindering the development of Nigeria's ICT sector, according to operators attending last week's WAFICT event in Lagos.
Poor regulation is hindering the development of Nigeria's ICT sector, according to operators attending last week's WAFICT event in Lagos.


Rajan Swaroop, CEO of Airtel Nigeria, has called on Nigeria's government to issue a new policy for broadband.

Speaking at the third West African Information & Communications Technology Congress (WAFICT 2011) in Lagos last week, Swaroop said that the present National Policy on Telecommunication is failing to boost broadband uptake and development in the country.

He recommended a review of existing guidelines and called for the government to issue a new national policy on communications.

Swaroop said that countries that have been most successful in developing broadband started by initiating “favourable policies and smart regulations”.

Swaroop cited examples from countries such as Finland, Malaysia, Morocco, Sweden and the USA, arguing that strong regulations helped to increase broadband penetration in those countries.

He referred to a policy in Finland, which declared broadband a legal right in 2009, and entitled every person to have access to 1Mbps internet connectivity by 2010, while Malaysia had a policy to deliver a high speed broadband network to cover major cities and towns in the first phase and boost broadband household penetration to 50% by 2010.

Swaroop also called for a merger between the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), stating that the future is in convergence and it is "absolutely necessary" for both organisations to come together.

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