Fiber Optic Cable Use in Nigeria
Fiber optic cable which is also known as submarine cables has been in use in Nigeria for some couple of years. However, the giant of Africa is yet to maximize the benefits of the fiber optic cable. One of the fiber optic cable operators in Nigeria, MainOne has stressed that Nigeria was yet to utilize up to 5% of the capacities of the cable which they said is applicable to other operators such as MTN WACS, Glo 1, etc.
Mrs. Funke Opeke who is Chief Executive Officer of MainOne cable company disclosed this in Lagos by lamenting the situation where Nigeria is under utilizing its broadband capacities. According to her, from several submarine cables at the shores of the country, Nigeria has more than enough broadband capacity to cater for its over 160 million internet user population, but very disappointing that about less than 10% is being utilized.
The CEO of MainOne also disclosed that the fiber optic cable operators were able to reduce the cost of bandwidth in the wholesale market, but the retail market which affects the consumers directly is still being operated at a high cost.
In comparing Nigeria with other African countries in terms of fiber optic cable usage, Nigeria seems to be very far behind as countries such as Kenya and Tanzania have gone far in internet access penetration according to Mrs. Opeke. This is since the government of those countries built a nationwide infrastructure fiber optic cable backbone which is being run by the private sector at a determined low cost and equal access to broadband capacities by all Internet Service Provider (ISPs).
Fiber optic cable is the future of communication and the technology is already being well harnessed in other African countries. The Nigeria government needs to provide infrastructure and structure the market such that Nigerians can start benefiting from this technology.
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