Nigeria continues to experience a rising cost of Internet services despite enormous capacity available locally. This trend has triggered complaints from Internet service providers and consumers. STANLEY OPARA of Punchng examines the situation Currently, Nigeria has a huge capacity as far as Internet bandwidth is concerned, and this seems not to be impacting the cost of Internet services considerably, as well as the quality of the service.
Common things that could be done leveraging the Internet in most parts of the world have continued to be real issues in this domain. Video streaming, downloading, conference calling, among others, are some activities that have continued to test the strength of our Internet networks.
Already, everybody seems to be complaining about the situation. ISPs, consumers and other stakeholders have ceased to explore new frontiers to better service provision and enhance consumer experience. In fact, some Internet subscribers (end users) continued to switch from one service provider to another.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of these users are still not satisfied with the quality of service they get from their current service providers; not to talk of the huge sums of money they have to part with for services not enjoyed.
Ironically, we’ve continued to see all sorts of advertisement on the television, the radio, print media and even on the Internet about new Internet services in the offer. This, no doubt, has been the trend in the past decade.
This, however, has left industry watchers with the feeling that Internet users in Nigeria must be in for another vicious cycle as far as broadband access and affordability are concerned.
All these challenges have continued to persist despite the huge local bandwidth capacity Nigeria has. The country currently has four submarine cables to its credit; all with landing points in Nigeria – Main One Cable, Glo 1, WASC, SAT 3. These cables, no doubt, are excess capacity for Nigeria. MainOne, for instance, has less than 10 per cent consumption of its 1.92 terabits per second broadband.
The situation, therefore, is that of Nigerians suffering in the midst of plenty.
Our correspondent gathered from industry sources that the cable companies are currently interested in recouping returns on their investments, and still charge huge sums to provide bandwidth to their customers. This, therefore, has put the ISPs on their toes, as they have to pay so much to acquire bandwidth for end users.