ATCON Canvasses Local Data Hosting, Raises Security Issues – Seeks Measures To Accelerate Broadband Deployment

The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is drumming up support for the hosting of Data in the country, as against the practice of having local data being hosted in Data Centers located outside the shores of the country.

Speaking in a media briefing in Lagos today, the newly-elected president of the Association, Mr. Olushola Teniola noted that Data should be hosted where it can be upheld by the country’s laws.

Speaking on the backdrop of cyber security, Mr Teniola said that Nigerian content should be brought back to Nigeria, while Data sovereignty should be upheld. He further charged that local content should be improved upon. “The cables should not only be used to bring in information; they should also be used to send out information.”

He tasked the federal government to add telecommunication service providers on the priority Forex access list so as to further grow Broadband in the country.

According to him, government is not in the business of building Broadband, rather it should be creating the enabling environment for Broadband to be nurtured by the private sector. He stated that the N32 billion investment in the sub-sector is private sector led and driven.

 “During my presidency I will not be advocating that government build Broadband. If you look at the FCC and what it did to AT&T in America, it demonstrates that it is the private sector that builds technology, not the other way round. The notion we have in Nigeria that its government that should handle everything, is not for Broadband.”

While affirming that Broadband pricing is currently market-driven, Mr. Teniola said that affordability is very key, but has remained an issue in the growth of Broadband.

Also noting that Broadband is in its infancy stage in Nigeria, with about 800, 000 users, he is however optimistic that with ATCON’s encouragement of the government in the resolution of obstacles hindering the rollout by infrastructure companies (InfraCos) and the acceleration of more licencing, Broadband deployment will be quickened.

It will be recalled that the NCC, in January 2015, granted MainOne Cable Company and IHS Towers the first two InfraCo licenses which will cover the Lagos and North Central regions respectively, with the promise to further grant five more regional licences. However, the two licencees are yet to roll out services. The NCC, in a statement recently, noted that it is in talks with the two operators to resolve some challenges they are facing, to enable them accelerate deployment.

The licensing is the first phase of the process of setting up companies that will cater for the deployment of metropolitan optic fibre infrastructure and associated transmission equipment in their assigned regions.

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