The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has named Nigeria among the top 20 countries with affordable internet across three continents.
In its affordability report released on Wednesday, A4AI revealed that Nigeria scored 66.19% of the Affordability Driver’s Index (ADI), where the average is pegged at 55.6%.
However, take note that the average ADI score rose by 13.6%, from 42% to 55.6%, within the last seven years ending 2020.
The report, which consists of 72 countries in total, ranked Malaysia, Colombia, and Costa Rica as the top 3 countries with the most affordable internet.
The top three countries – according to A4AI – were able to achieve these feats due to their high scores for National Broadband Planning (NBP).
“National broadband plans help a number of countries stand out in this year’s Index. The top three countries — Malaysia, Colombia, and Costa Rica — all stand out with the highest three scores for national broadband planning.”
“All three met the UN Broadband Commission’s ‘1 for 2’ affordability threshold — 1GB data for no more than two per cent of average monthly income,” an excerpt from the report read.
About Nigeria’s Broadband Plan
Nigeria operates a broadband plan that is closely monitored and regulated by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC).
The Chief Executive Officer, MainOne Cable Company, Funke Opeke, during an interview, spoke on how Nigeria came up with a broadband plan.
“The Nigeria NBP is is a result of consultations from both private sector and civil societies.
“Nigerian came up with a plan that had been described as realistic, ambitious, but achievable.
“I think the COVID-19 pandemic shows we were spot on in terms of what is required to improve broadband access in Nigeria.
“We set targets for access, for connectivity to schools, to health facilities, to all local government areas in the country, urban and rural areas, digital inclusion, and gender parity,” she said.
Importance of National Broadband Plans in a country
Putting into consideration the following attributes as seen in the image below, the importance of NBP includes but are not limited to:
i. Enables accountability and facilitate inclusive policymaking
How you can query your government about poor broadband infrastructure is only through a drafted NBP.
Mind you, a NBP that is “inclusive to all stakeholders and responsive to individual barriers opens up new opportunities.”
What this then implies is that where stakeholders disagree on the way forward, NBP can become an advocacy tool.
Also, it can serve as a reminder for the agreed objectives around expanding internet access and affordability.
More so, the NBP is capable of facilitating inclusive policymaking due to its collaborative nature.
This is also evident in the A4AI report, which claimed that countries with ‘open’ and inclusive, consultative processes outnumbered countries with ‘closed’ drafting.
“These countries also had higher average evaluative scores for their national broadband plan and its impact and for the clarity around public spending on infrastructure,” the report read in part.
ii. Lowers cost of internet
Another major importance of NBPs in a country is the progressive impact on internet affordability.
According to the report, a country’s NBP can help reduce internet prices efficiently over a period of time.
The reason for this is because the NBP provides a clear insight into the potential role of stakeholders within the sector.
With this insight, the broadband network’s authority can plan and structure its investment based on livid reality.
Not just that, private stakeholders can as well make use of the plan as a guideline while executing related projects or perhaps during investment.
Most importantly, the NBP allows public or private stakeholders to leverage market competition to consumers’ benefits.
Full ADI result as collated by A4AI