Anambra Govt targets deeper internet penetration wit

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Elochukwu Benjamin

Awka

Anambra State Government has announced the waiving of charges for Fibre Optic Cable Right of Way in the state, from N600 per linear meter to zero naira.

The announcement is coming as the state government targets to create a robust digital economy in the state.

Fiber Optic Cable is the cabling that carries internet services just as electric cables carry electric power to different parts of the state.

In 2019, Anambra State Government had commenced engagements with key stakeholders in the telecommunications industry, to achieve deeper broadband penetration for better internet services in the state.

Waiving the right of way charges, is part of the government’s urban regeneration initiative, which will see the deployment of modern physical planning strategies to eliminate bottlenecks to digital access.

The initiative is driven by the State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB).

Announcing the waiver, the ANSPPB Chairman and Managing Director, Barr Chike Maduekwe said the initiative also seeks to reverse infrastructure decline in urban and semi-urban areas, boost digital infrastructure rollout to towns and communities and diversify the economy, leveraging digital services for commerce, education, innovation, manufacturing and e-government.

“We had opened discussion with key stakeholders for zero payment on RoW as directed in 2019 by Governor Willie Obiano to achieve accelerated broadband penetration, optimize economic activities and ease of doing business in the state. This is to enable our people have access to internet and digital services. It is important that we have a lot of these fibre optics cables reaching all the nooks and crannies of Anambra state,” said Barrister Maduekwe.

He said from the stakeholders’ engagements, the initiative later snowballed to subsequent alignment with relevant professional bodies, associations, beneficiary towns and communities.

According to him, the implementation of the broadband penetration roadmap and enumeration project as well as multiple stakeholder engagement sessions will commence in July 2020.

“The removal of the Right of Way charges by Anambra state is the first step to a digital economy that welcomes key stakeholders, investors, innovators, educators and businesses to The Light of the Nation.

“The implication of the waiver is that more cables can now be put in place by internet providers because they will no longer be charged to pay cables.

“It is also aligned with the resolution of the Nigerian Governors’ forum of January 2020 and the launching of the National Broadband Plan by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020,” the ANSPPB Boss noted.

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