Nigeria to regulate satellite communications

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Nigeria says it will create a new legal framework to regulate satellite communications over the country and which would also open up the market to many local and international players.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says its draft rules are designed to create a legal framework to regulate the provision and use of satellite communication services and networks. NCC Executive Vice Chair Umar Danbatta says the intention is to ensure a well-developed and organised satellite communications market in Nigeria.

Prof. Danbatta added that the new rules would be updates and amendments to the existing regulations which came into force in 2007. He added the guidelines would ensure effective management of scarce frequency resources, especially bands where spectrum is shared between satellite and terrestrial systems. He said the guidelines would encourage use of satellite connectivity to unserved areas that lack terrestrial transmission infrastructure. Danbatta said the draft Consumer Code of Practice Regulations was an amendment to the previous regulations, made in 2007.

He explained that the aim of the new draft was not to discriminate against any investor but to open up the market because of its capital intensive nature. ‘‘The impact is more broadband penetration. All we want is to provide broadband services to Nigerians. Any opportunity that we have, we take it and this is one of the opportunities that will enhance broadband penetration in Nigeria.

He said the guidelines would provide a more robust framework, effective and efficient processes /procedures to be followed by licensees in developing their individual consumer code to govern the provision of services and other related consumer practices.


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