MainOne Cable and IHS have been announced by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the winners of the country’s first two regional infrastructure company (InfraCo) licences. BiztechAfrica quotes NCC executive vice chairman Eugene Juwah as saying that MainOne secured the concession for Lagos State, while IHS has been authorised to provide broadband infrastructure in the North Central Zone. The permits will allow for the deployment of metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructure and associated transmission equipment on an open access, non-discriminatory and price-regulated basis. Under the next phase of licensing, which is expected to be completed by July, licences will be awarded for the five remaining zones, namely: North East, North West, South East, South West and South South.
As outlined by the regulator’s ‘Open Access Next Generation Fibre Optics Broadband Network’ paper, which was published in late-2013, the InfraCos will be responsible for providing a national broadband network to service providers. The NCC says that the Open Access Model for fibre-optic network deployment is best suited to bridge the digital divide, facilitate the development of local content, and deliver fast and reliable broadband services to households and businesses. It is expected to help address the challenges of fibre deployment in towns and cities, promote infrastructure sharing and reduce right of way issues.