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FG approves TVWS technology to extend broadband coverage

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FG approves TVWS technology to extend broadband coverage

Adebayo Shittu

 

By Aminat Isah

The federal government has approved a new technology, TV White Space, TVWS,  as a way of extending broadband internet coverage, in rural communities and other far-to reach communities.
The minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, disclosed this at the 2019 Stakeholders Forum on rural connectivity using TV White Spaces & Global conference for rural communications in Africa (GCRCA-19).
The Minister said the federal government is eager to use the TV White Space to increase broadband penetration and drive spectrum efficiency in Nigeria.
According to him, the use of TV White Space (TVWS) is an emerging trend to further bridge the digital gap, transmit data over long distances to reach under-served rural communities, and drive up spectrum efficiency.
‘‘Long before the adoption of the United Nation-MDGs in 2000, Nigeria understood the importance of solving this matter. And ever since, we have adopted a national broadband plan and worked relentlessly to attain our objectives.
‘‘Broadband is considered a central pillar in Nigeria’s ICT Roadmap. We have ambitious plan to fast-track deployment of the broadband infrastructure, increased national capacity building, awareness, as well as increased the opportunities for content development and innovations.
He further said the Nigeria’s telecommunication industry policy is development oriented, neutral and transparent, adding that all technologies are welcome.
“We support all corporations whether local or foreign, provided they comply with our laws, policies and regulations.
‘‘I look at the service due to disadvantaged people, to under-served or even unserved people, as a sacred duty and a noble goal. For a public official, lifting the poor from their poverty is more important than anything else.
‘‘Our country Nigeria is facing several challenges in terms of poverty-reduction goals. But at least, I am proud to announce today that the Ministry and its agencies as well as members of the NFMC are now very close to reversing the trend.
‘‘Soon, rural connectivity shall no more be a problem in our country. I have been informed that exploiting the TV white space in broadband penetration, is cost effective, would provide enormous benefit to Nigerians, while also creating the needed confidence for Internet Service providers (ISPs) and mobile operators.
‘‘One of the reasons the TV white space is good for Nigeria is because of the lower cost of the technology. It uses spectrum used for broadcast services. The fact is in Nigeria and many parts of Africa, the spectrum is underutilized.’’
He urged the stakeholders to produce a useful outcome that will assist the country in taking a spotlight position on the development, and assured that the ministry will put into use,  the outcome of the meeting.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by the Director of Spectrum Administration, Engr. Austine Nwaulunne earlier in his remarks said the NCC takes the connectivity of every Nigerian very  seriously and the forum was to  bring people together to advise and guide the Commission  in   drafting the regulatory  framework to have  TV White Spaces utilize in connecting the rural areas.
TV White Space is an opportunistic technology, that takes advantage of  the portion of the spectrum that the primary  service is not using at a particular  point in time.
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