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Broadband: Swift Networks speeds up NCC’s 30% penetration target

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Broadband: Swift Networks speeds up NCC’s 30% penetration target

Despite sckeptism in some quarters, a new move by one of the country’s Internet companies, Swift Networks to offer free wireless-fidelity (WiFi)-enabled Internet access to Nigerians has raised fresh hope that the 30 per cent broadband penetration target set by the government is almost chaievable.

 

New Telegraph learnt that the federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has set a 30 per cent broadband penetration threshold in the country’s National Broadband Plan in 2013. As at 2013, broadband penetration was less than six per cent but the government set an auspicious target to achieve 30 per cent penetration by the end of this year.

 

 

To date, penetration currently stands at 22 per cent, according to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta. But speaking at the unveiling  of free broadband Wi-Fi service in Lagos, SWIFT Networks said, as Nigeria’s broadband service provider to enterprise and residential customers, it is currently partnering with leading global brands to offer free broadband Wi-Fi service in Lagos and beyond through its new product tagged: ‘Red Cheetah’.

 

 

According to to the Chief Executive Officer of Swift Networks, Mr. Charles Anudu, Red Cheetah will start with aggressive investment in hotspots distributed all over the state, supported by advertising revenues from leading global brands and partners. Red Cheetah is expected to help deepen Nigeria’s broadband penetration and aspiration for universal Internet access for greater social equity and inclusion.

 

 

“The Red Cheetah service model once more follows in SWIFT’s tradition of demystifying and making technology to work for Nigerians so that they can hook up to the digital world to explore, work and entertain more efficiently” Anudu said. Besides, he said, “We are excited to pioneer this cutting-edge service model and will rapidly extend it to more cities in Nigeria and the continent.

 

 

The security of every user’s access is enhanced by the Red Cheetah App, which establishes a distinct and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to the Internet for each device on the platform.

 

 

“I strongly believe that this dogged work of over two years is the ideal model that will empower Nigerians to live their most productive lifestyles in a digital world. I am extra proud that everything about Red Cheetah is Nigerian and shows what we can achieve when we commit to solving the problems of our society taking our context into consideration.”

 

Explaining further, Chief Operating Officer of SWIFT, Mr. Chukwuma Okoye, said the company’s plan “is to roll out an initial 10,000 Red Cheetah hotspots in Lagos, which, he said, will be the largest Wi-Fi footprint of its kind anywhere in Africa and will cover many verticals including schools, airports, buses, taxis, shopping malls, bars, clubs, restaurants, open markets, hospitals and in fact any place where Nigerians need to research, catch up on work and play.

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