A total of four companies – MainOne Cable, Zinox Telecoms, Trussnet Limited and IHS Consortium – have each submitted bids for the regional infrastructure company (InfraCo) licence covering Lagos State, according to local newspaper The Guardian. Earlier this month it was reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was close to awarding the first two of seven regional InfraCo licences, covering Lagos State and the North Central Zone, after inviting interested companies to submit bids by 12pm on 4 August 2014. The permits will allow for the deployment of metropolitan fibre-optic infrastructure and associated transmission equipment on an open access, non-discriminatory and price-regulated basis. Under the next phase of licensing, permits will be awarded for the five remaining zones, namely: North East, North West, South East, South West and South South.
As outlined by the regulator’s ‘Open Access Next Generation Fibre Optics Broadband Network’ paper, which was published late last year, the InfraCos will be responsible for providing a national broadband network to service providers. The NCC says that the Open Access Model for fibre-optic network deployment is best suited to bridge the digital divide, facilitate the development of local content, and deliver fast and reliable broadband services to households and businesses. It is expected to help address the challenges of fibre deployment in towns and cities, promote infrastructure sharing and reduce right of way issues.