Internet Service Providers have said they are paying more to intall fibre for Internet connection.
They claimed that they were allegedly charged 10 times more than licensed operators for Right of Way in most states of the federation. They said in Lagos, licensed operators were paying a cheaper rate compared to ISPs, which are reportedly charged 10 times more than the agreed N145 per meter rate linear for RoW.
They said this during a panel session at the Telecoms Sector Sustainability Forum organised by Business Remarks. They stated that players in the space needed more governmental support as over 568 ISPs have since gone under.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Dotmac Technologies, Mr Micheal Ayoade, ISPs lack unified backup to fight their cause and push for the agreed rate from state governments and taxes demanded by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
He stated that without the collaboration of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, individual companies in the ISP space would not survive as their rising overhead cost would impact negatively on them.
He added, “Collaborations among ISPs is important but not very straightforward because each Internet Service Providers determine their price structure through cost incurred, keeping manpower and other business risks.”
The Managing Director for MangoNet Integrated Technologies, Mr Tony Emoekpere, explained that the ISP sub-sector was too fragmented to scale up.
He said, “Local content is a real challenge. The telecommunications business is a long-time investment which requires continuous investment and pressure to upgrade infrastructure.
“You don’t have to own all the infrastructures to provide service. In Orlando, there are just three major ISPs. Foreign companies are taking advantage of this market because they understand the value of collaboration with key players and their area of strength.”
The Head of Sales and Marketing, FiberOne Broadband, Mr Kehinde Joda, added, “There will be healthy competition, pricing and collaborations if the Nigerian Communications Commission can make the right policies for ISPs sustainability.”
While giving her opening speech, the convener of the Forum and Managing Editor of Business Remarks, Mrs Bukola Olanrewaju, stated, “Over the years, studies have shown that the licence renewal rate of ISPs in Nigeria continues to drop, even as others take up the licence.
“In view of the critical need for internet connectivity for the digital economy and for mass digitalisation of Nigeria, the role of ISPs is central also for uptake of internet of things.”