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Wednesday, Oct 16th

60 bidders compete for fibre deployment licenses

60 bidders compete for fibre deployment license

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed it will award licenses in July to five infrastructure companies to deploy metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructure and associated transmission equipment on an open-access, non-discriminatory and price-regulated basis.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, said the infraCos will provide a national broadband network to service providers.

He added that 60 companies had applied for the licenses to cover five geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

"This is a massive number and we are about to complete the processes of the licensing of the remaining five InfraCos very soon. And I am talking about July. We will come out with the information about the successful bidders. And those who are successful will be offered the licenses in consistence with the conditions of the regulatory framework of the open-access model that is driving the deployment of broadband infrastructure in the country.''

NCC had already awarded two licenses to MainOne for Lagos zone and IConnect, a subsidiary of IHS, for the North-Central zone.

"NCC has been monitoring the progress made so far by the licensed two InfraCos and we are quite happy about the miles so far achieved in the deployment of fibre networks in the Lagos zone. For the North-Central zone, we are not happy and action is being taken to ensure a remedial measure is put in place, in order to speed up deployment in the area," he said.

He described the next licensing process as the second phase for the deployment of fibre optic infrastructure broadband network.

"The InfraCos to be licensed would be for the North-East, North-West, South-South, South-East and South-West zones of the country. The InfraCos, according to the Open Access Model adopted by NCC, would offer fibre penetration available on a non-discriminatory basis to telecommunications operators. The Open Access Model has been examined and found to be an appropriate model for optic fibre backbone infrastructure in Nigeria to bridge the current broadband gap and deliver fast, reliable broadband services to households and businesses."

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