- Category: GENERAL
- Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012 22:49
- Written by Ogbuefi Blogs
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday inaugurated a 14-man Presidential Committee on Broadband Technology. He urged the team to use ICT to give Nigeria the headway needed to play a key role in the technology revolution and bring the country at par with other industrialised nations of the world. The committee
has a former managing director of the National Communications Commission (NCC), Ernest Ndukwe as Chairman, and the chairman of Zenith Bank and Visafone, Jim Ovia as co-chairman.
He called on the Ministry of Education to join hands with the Ministry of ICT and incorporate ICT in the country’s education curricular beginning from primary level.
Noting that the country’s key to attaining industrial revolution is in ICT, he said, “it is only ICT that can take any nation to advanced nation and at least we should work hard to join this revolution.”
President Jonathan therefore said the country should begin to think along the line of digital revolution.
He said: “It is a fact that broadband access and Internet technologies are a key enabler of socio-economic growth and the attainment of a fully knowledge-based economy.
“It is important to start thinking of how to build a digital economy particularly in this era of the knowledge economy. The critical factor here is that we are in the middle of a digital economy particularly in this era of the knowledge economy. The critical factor here is that we are in the middle of a digital revolution that has seen ICT transform the global economy. ICTs have changed the way we live, work and learn. In some countries around the world, including Nigeria, ICTs have even transformed the way citizens participate in governance.
“Whereas we are working to transform our present realities, my administration is also laying a proper foundation for a prosperous future. Therefore, the Ministry of Education must incorporate ICTs in our National Education Curricular beginning from the Primary School Level because, if we desire to raise the global ICT leaders of tomorrow, we should not burden them with the disadvantage of starting out late. Celebrated innovators of today, like Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and Mark Zukerberg, founder of Facebook, discovered their love for software development between the ages of 9 and 12.”
He also urged Nigerian parents to begin to expose their children to ICT so as to encourage them to familiarize with new technologies and the desire to develop software programs and applications.
He also assured that his “administration will continue to give the necessary support and encouragement to ICT practitioners in Nigeria to empower collective effort in attaining the goal of 21st century economy.”
Chairman of the Jonathan’s Broadband Committee, Ernest Ndukwe and Jim Ovia’s terms of reference include to evaluate and analyse the current position of broadband infrastructure in the country and articulate an agenda for bridging the gap between the haves and have not’s.
They should look to the United Kingdom for insight.
The Telecoms and Online unit of UK's department for Media and Culture (DCMS) is responsible for broadband policy and delivery in Britain. They are responsible for regulating and enabling growth in telecoms and the digital economy, as well as facilitating the delivery of universal broadband.
A robust, modern and efficient telecoms infrastructure is vital to the nation’s economy and for many years, the UK has led the way on deregulation, in pioneering innovation, and in the early and widespread adoption of new services and standards.
On their website, the Dept. said they are committed to delivering the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015 and to do this, the UK Government:
has allocated £530 million during the current Spending Review period to stimulate commercial investment to roll out high speed broadband in rural communities; will invest £150 million in ‘super-connected cities’ across the UK; will invest up to £150 million to improve mobile coverage in the UK for consumers and businesses that live and work in areas where coverage is poor or non-existent
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a unit within DCMS, is responsible for managing the Government’s broadband funding. Individual projects are the responsibility of local authorities and the Devolved Administrations, as set out in BDUK’s delivery model.
Our ambition is to provide superfast broadband to at least 90 per cent of premises in the UK and to provide universal access to standard broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps
The UK has one of the most open and competitive telecoms markets in the world, and is at the forefront of online innovation.
The wider online sector is made up a range of diverse businesses and disciplines, from digital content creation to hosting, back-end services and e-accessibility. The digital economy sectors amount for nearly £1 in every £10 that the whole UK economy produces each year, and is an area of rapid growth and change. We create the conditions to foster that growth, and act as the sector’s voice in Government.
The Telecoms and Online unit set and implement telecoms policy, and sponsor the telecoms sector; set broadband policy and facilitate the delivery of superfast broadband and universal access ; look after internet policy and governance, including net neutrality, safer internet, and copyright theft; oversee implementation of the Digital Economy Act; sponsor the digital content sector, including computer and video games; look after policy on the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for communication and broadcasting; manage the UK’s interactions with EU and other international partners about Information and communication technology policy; are the sponsor department of Ofcom, the communications industry regulator
Next phase of superfast broadband - Plans announced for a ‘digital hub’ in every community to boost economy.
The UK Government has announced its ambition for a "digital hub" in every community in the country, as part of an £830 million strategy to make sure the UK has the best broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Britain’s Superfast Broadband Future (PDF, 1.49MB), published by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Olympics, Culture, Media and Sport, sets out an action plan to stimulate private investment and competition, and create an environment in which business can flourish by removing key barriers around hardware and cutting costs.
“A superfast network will be the foundation for a new economic dynamism, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and adding billions to our GDP,” said Mr Hunt during a speech earlier today at Reform. “But it is not just about the economy, around the world there are countless examples of superfast broadband helping to build a fairer and more prosperous society, and to transform the relationship between Government and citizens. And shifting Government services online will save billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”
The hubs will act as central digital points in each community, with high speed connections to the nearest exchange and communities working with local providers to extend networks to individual homes.
The plans also include:
Cutting the costs of and access to infrastructure and increasing shared access by working with house builders to make new homes broadband ready, and cutting the costs of laying cable by clarifying the rules on streetworks
Awarding spectrum for mobile services
Investing £50 million in a second wave of test projects, on top of the four rural pilots we are currently running
Strong market position
The UK is already in a relatively strong position, with one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world. More than 70 per cent of households subscribe to broadband and nearly 50 per cent of all homes have access to a superfast 50Mbps service.
The market continues to make great strides in extending and improving the country’s broadband network and existing provision is largely due to market investment, with Virgin Media and BT investing rapidly in new networks. Smaller providers such as Rutland Telecom, Geo and Vtesse and community groups are finding innovative ways of delivering superfast broadband to areas where it is economically challenging to do so.
The strategy also sets out in detail how Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will help connect the areas that the market alone cannot reach.
Supporting rural communities
“Rolling out superfast broadband is probably the single most important thing we can do to ensure the sustainability of our rural communities in the 21st Century and end the digital divide,” said Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. “Reliable internet access is vital for business and education, and will help to promote social inclusion and improve life in rural areas right across the country. The new broadband strategy is a vital part of our commitment to improving the lives of people living in rural communities.”
Ten Super-Connected Cities announced
Chancellor reveals cities to share £100m to introduce ultra-fast broadband, with additional £50m for further roll-out.
The UK’s first Super-Connected Cities have been revealed by Chancellor George Osborne in today’s budget.
Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds & Bradford, Newcastle and Manchester along with the four UK capital cities have all successfully bid to become Super-Connected Cities with ultrafast fixed broadband access, and large areas of public wireless connectivity. We define ultrafast broadband as having a minimum download speed of at least 80Mbps.
The 10 cities will share £100 million to help deliver ambitious plans to use super-connected status to drive growth, attract new businesses and transform the way services are provided and accessed.
And the Chancellor has announced that a new £50 million fund will be created to bring ultra-fast broadband to even more UK cities.
Together the 10 proposals involve providing ultrafast broadband access to around 1.7 million premises and 200,000 businesses by 2015 while almost 3 million residents would have access to a wireless network.
Mr Osborne said:
“These bids have the potential to create in the UK ten of the best cities in the world for broadband connectivity.”
Super-Connected Cities funding breakdown
The 10 winners have each been told the minimum they are set to receive, as well as the maximum funding that could be available for their city.
The final amount they will receive will depend on more detailed plans, which each city must submit by July.
Govt will then confirm exactly how much they will receive from the £100 million fund.
The Chancellor also provided more details on the mobile element of the Government’s £780 million investment in the UK's digital infrastructure.
The Government is working to ensure businesses have the infrastructure they need to grow, and digital is now a fundamental part of doing business.
The £150 million mobile infrastructure project will be targeted at areas with no mobile coverage.
Thanks to the Government’s investment, mobile phone coverage will be extended to a further 60,000 of the UK’s homes and businesses, with premises coverage over 99.9%.
Coverage along major roads will also be extended with an initial 10 priority roads identified. These 10 roads alone are used by around 100,000 travellers every day.
Improving mobile infrastructure
Govt. has committed £150 million in capital expenditure to improve mobile coverage and quality where existing coverage is poor or non-existent.
Procurement for the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) began in spring 2012, and the project will be completed by 2015. Businesses and consumers should start to benefit from improved mobile coverage from early 2013. This will be achieved by working with industry to address mobile not-spots.
Improving coverage and service quality across the UK
Some areas of the UK are not provided with any mobile coverage by mobile network operators and other areas receive low quality coverage which results in a poor level of customer experience.
In certain areas of the UK – particularly rural areas - there is a limited commercial case for market-driven private investment to improve coverage and quality of service.
Increasing mobile connectivity will support business growth, extend access to key public services which are delivered online, and bring an improvement for mobile customers across the UK.
Supplier engagement and Procurement
Pre-Qualification Questionnaires were completed by bidders; these determined whether suppliers had the capability to deliver a project. Following short-listing in June 2012, below, in alphabetical order, is a list of potential providers for the next phase:
Airwave Solutions, Arqiva, Ericsson, Telefonica and Vodafone
The department for Media and Culture, DCMS, will also continue to engage with industry stakeholders beyond the procurement process, provided that they are not directly involved in the MIP procurement. This will exclude any participating shortlisted Potential Providers or those involved, or seeking involvement, in the supply chain for the MIP procurement.