The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has approved the country’s National Broadband Plan for the period 2013 to 2018, which aims to significantly improve access to high speed internet services. Biztech Africa writes that the five-year plan was developed by the Presidential Committee on Broadband, which was inaugurated by the government in September 2012, and was presented to the president by Minister of Communication Technology Omobola Johnson last week. The main aim of the plan is to increase broadband penetration by five times by the end of 2017. It outlines a number of ways in which the government aims to achieve this, including: establishing policies that regard ICT networks and installations as critical national infrastructure that qualify for special government protection; promoting transparency of pricing and reduction of rollout costs by encouraging infrastructure sharing and interconnections and introducing price caps where necessary or when market forces fail; taking necessary regulatory measures to ensure better performance levels in the delivery of broadband services; facilitating rapid rollout of wireless and wireline infrastructure and providing incentives to encourage a national 3G wireless coverage to at least 80% of the population by 2018; and the release of more spectrum for broadband services, especially for Long Term Evolution (LTE). It also aims to foster an attractive investment climate through targeted schemes for stimulating demand and providing targeted concessions, tax incentives, grants or support where needed. The full version of the National Broadband Plan can be found at: http://www.commtech.gov.ng/images/docs/The%20Nigerian%20National%20Broadband%20Plan%202013_19May2013%20FINAL.pdf
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