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Nigeria Reboots its Internet Policy

With a mean download speed of 1.56 megabits per second (Mbps), Africa’s largest internet market is rooted in the bottom quarter of global broadband speed rankings for 2019 by UK analytics firm Cable. But the country is looking to fix that problem—at least on paper. A new national broadband plan is aiming to deliver download speeds of at least 25 Mbps in urban areas (10 Mbps in rural areas) with “effective coverage” across 90% of the population by 2025. For context, as of last year, Madagascar was the only African country with speeds higher than 10Mbps—the minimum speed required for consumers “to fully participate in a digital society” according to Ofcom, UK’s telecoms regulator. As Nigeria looks to deliver on its latest broadband plan, a key part of its success will lie in convincing state governments of the obvious economic benefits of playing the long game of capital investment rather than seeking short-term gain.