Group says cost critical to internet use




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– Ms Sonia Jorge, the Executive Director of Africa For Affordable Internet (A4AI), on Monday said that affordability was critical to increasing internet usage in Nigeria. Jorge said at a A4AI Coalition in that internet remained unaffordable for the vast majority of Nigerians; hence, they were not using it.

She noted that the International Union (ITU) fixed internet plan cost at $39 in 2013.

According to her, the amount is 39 per cent of the average monthly income of a .

The director added that mobile broadband plan cost $13, which accounted for 13 per cent of the average monthly income of a .

“Over 120 million Nigerians live on less than two dollars per day.

“For many of these people, an entry level connection cost 64 per cent or of monthly income.

“Nigeria was ranked 142 out of 169 countries by the ITU for the affordability of a fixed broadband connection in 2013, while A4AI’ Affordability , 2013 ranked Nigeria 19 out of 46 developing countries,’’ she said.

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According to her, for Nigeria to become of the world’ leading economies by year 2020, high-speed broadband networks that will provide every fast, reliable and affordable internet access is a fundamental requirement.

She the Federal Government not to relent in ensuring the realisation of the objectives of the National Broadband Plan 2013-2018.

“We believe that the main barrier to increased access is lack of affordability.

“ We know that and regulatory frameworks urgently need to be updated to unlock technological advances and drive down,’’ Jorge said.

Dr Ernest Ndukwe, a former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that governors be involved in making the internet affordable.

Ndukwe said that the governors understand the benefits of broadband, and facilitate its rollout.

The Africa Regional Coordinator of A4AI, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, that Internet Providers be transparent in the pricing of the internet data plan.

Nwakanma said that many Nigerians had yet to go because they were unsure of the pricing of the internet.

“There is the need to educate people who go on the usage of the internet and which areas of the internet cost ,’’ she said. (NAN)

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