The federal government has been urged to facilitate access to low cost funding and financing of long term broadband deployment loan facility by the commercial banks.
That was part of the consensus of opinions at the Nigerian Communications Broadband Forum which held in Lagos.
Participants also fretted at prevalence of right of way charges and challenges, multiple taxes, high interest rates and Nigeria’s notoriously unreliable public power supply.
Rising from the forum, participants said there was need to replicate the revolution in voice telephony experienced a decade ago in the provision of broadband.
The NCC hosted the forum to look at economic and regulatory approaches to ubiquitous broadband infrastructure and services, funding options and strategies for the deployment of broadband infrastructure and services, sustaining competition in a broadband market and technologies to support deployment of broadband infrastructure and services.
Mrs. Omobola Johnson, minister of Communications Technology said appropriate pricing and availability is critical in achieving universal access to Broadband, especially in rural areas.
She said that government is to set up presidential committee on Broadband deployment in Nigeria.
Dr. Eugene Juwah, executive vice chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) said that his commission has proposed three road maps on broadband business model options that is the utility; equal access; and passive infrastructure models.
The model being proposed for adoption is the equal access model and is similar to the model implemented in countries like Singapore and Australia. This model will facilitate the development of broadband in Nigeria.
Malcolm Corbett, CEO of Independent Networks Co-operative Association urged Nigeria to hurry with broadband deployment highlighting immense benefits that will accrue from the deployment.
Elsewhere, the panel discussions urged government to provide enabling environment for the development of infrastructure that will support the growth and access to broadband services at affordable cost to consumers.
The panels also called for availability of spectrum in the 2GHz band to drive mobile broadband penetration and availability in Nigeria.