World’s largest technology sector coalition, A4AI, has made some recommendations on how to make the internet more affordable to Nigerians when it met last Tuesday in Lagos.
These are part of the recommendations:
1: Develop broadband plans and strategies
National broadband plans allow for increased private investment as it removes barriers to infrastructure deployment and encourage public-private partnerships. A4AI’s 2014 research stated that an effective broadband plan leads to lower broadband costs. It backed this up with statistical facts.
Nigeria, with its 5 year Broadband plan, needs to focus on delivery, monitoring and evaluation, A4AI recommended.
2: Encourage infrastructure sharing
Everyone can be connected affordably if ICT structures and infrastructures like towers, base stations and cables are shared. Mobile operators by doing this can save over $8 billion, according to a Delta Partners 2009 research.
3: Enhance competition
A healthy competitive market typically drives prices down, and having a range of providers gives people power to pick the plan that suits them. Competition has beat down the price of SIM cards in Nigeria from $250 when it first arrived to $1.5 in 2015.
4: Review taxation
PCs are sometimes taxed as luxury items in developing countries – subjecting it to high import duties. Changing this can drive down prices of computers and encourage more companies to come to the market.
5: Measure and adapt
There is a dearth of data in developing countries on people using the internet. It’s impossible to manage what we don’t measure. Better data on how people are using the internet will give a clearer scope of user patterns and can allow the government change its approach to increasing access if necessary.