These cables in Nigeria are yet to reach the hinterlands with bandwidths. The cost of laying fibre optic cables connecting cities, states semi-urban to rural communities is prohibitive and a disincentive to the operators. One of the things the Ministry of Communications and NCC needs to address is the high cost of Right of Ways (RoWs) needed by telecommunications operators to move bandwidth from the landing point to all parts of the country.
Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable, Mrs. Funke Opeke said "The cost of deployment is currently exorbitant in Nigeria" stressing that to ensure that Nigerians begin to enjoy the dividend of having broadband services in the country, the cost of RoW needed to be reviewed in the country. She advised government all levels to always build new roads with ducts where telecoms operators can easily lay their fibre optic cables for faster and efficient infrastructure deployment in the country.
Recently, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (Atcon) asked governments at all levels to reduce the fees charged for Right of Ways permission granted to telecommunications companies to lay fibre optic cables in the country.The Atcon members who met in Lagos at a roundtable discussion on the National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 said exorbitant fees charged by the federal, state and local government agencies may frustrate the objectives of the national broadband plan and make the targets unrealizable.
Cost of Connecting Nigeria
The cost of wiring all the 36 states in Nigeria with full broadband connection using fibre optic cables will surpass N123.22 billion ($795m) excluding the fees for Rights of Way (RoW) charged by agencies of government for allowing operators to dig and lay cables on roads and ducts. Already, long distance fibre exists, what state needs is fibre rings essentially to connect to long distance fibre. Within states, state capitals and major cities will also need fibre networks built and integrated.
According to the National Broadband Roadmap 2013-2018, "The cost of building metro fibre within cities is estimated at $60,000 per kilometre while the cost building fibre around states is estimated at $20,000 per kilometre. This difference can be attributed to the higher number of civil works, road crossings and restoration that will be required for metro fibre networks. In calculating the funding required for state ringed fibre optic infrastructure, the respective states have been broken into large.
Medium and small requiring an approximated fibre network of 750km, 500km and 250km respectively", the council said. Larges states (750km) include: Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Nigeri and Kaduna. Medium States (500km) are: Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Oyo, Edo, Ogun, Cross River, Kano, Delta, Nassarawa and Gombe. The small states (250km) are: Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa.