ISPs call for protection of Telecoms critical infrastructure

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Internet Service  Providers (ISPs) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to  put more efforts in the enforcement of laws that protect critical telecoms infrastructure in Nigeria.

Mr Chidi Ajuzie, Chief Operating Officer, WTES Projects Ltd., made the call at the Telecoms Sector Sustainability Forum organised by Business Remarks in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports  that the forum had as its theme, ‘Examining the Nigerian Internet Service Providers Viability in a Digitized Environment’.

Ajuzie, in his presentation said that the past two years had been very challenging for the ISPs leading to lots of damage to infrastructure, particularly in Lagos State.

He also said that ISPs play important roles in providing internet connectivity and achieving the National Broadband Plan (NBP 2020- 2025).

According to Ajuzie, some of the critical challenges faced by ISPs include vandalisation, competition, tariffs, taxes and duties, power availability and cost.

He said that the telecoms sub-sector needed regulatory support in terms of licensing issues, spectrum availability and price, inter-sector policies framework, Right of Way intervention, human security and safety at the plants.

He also urged the ISPs to revamp their business and market operations for growth, sustainability and profitability, adding that they did not need to be static to survive.

He said that ISPs should  look out for more opportunities not only for sustainability but also for growth and profitability.

“ISPs need to be highly innovative, by going beyond typical connectivity to embracing Value Added Services and providing solutions on fibre infrastructure.

“Internet Service Providers need to understand their market, take informed deliberate steps to increase their revenue turnover.

“ISPs also need to monetise and stabilise existing infrastructure; provide end-to-end solutions and service but focus on end-users wallets,” Ajuzie said.

He commended Business Remarks for creating a platform for ISPs to collectively discuss, adding that ISPs must be aware of industry trends, competition, and regulatory policies.

Ajuzie also expressed encouragement of ISPs to embrace collaboration for profit maximisation and provision of quality service to customers.

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According to him, collaboration is key for ISPs to successfully play across all the tiers.

He said that ISPs needed key players to collaborate with for wider broadband reach as well as save costs to consolidate and expand serviceable footprints.

Ajuzie noted that the growing demand for data capacity, digital services, 5G and the increasing need to invest in infrastructure efficiently were major growth drivers for ISPs.

He said connectivity was important even with the embedded opportunities growth outlook in emerging trends such as 5G, Cloudification, data centre, pervasive fibre, and open access.

“ISPs business in Nigeria is viable but we need to watch out and look out for governmental support at the federal, state and local levels for enabling business environment,” he said.

The forum was attended by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); FibreOne Broadband; Skymax Integrated Network Ltd;  IPNX, and eStream Networks among other organisations.

 

(NAN)