If you believe you are paying too much for mobile and internet services and live in one of the five steps we will list below, you can rejoice because there will soon be a decrease in the calls and data costs. Find out why they will get more affordable and which states are included right now!
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1. Why will the price drop?
As a regular phone and internet user, you may not be familiar with the Right of Way charges imposed by the government on internet service providers and telecom companies who want to lay fibre-optic cables along the roads for the better coverage of the customers.
Since 2013, all states had the standard price of ₦145 per 1 metre, which did not affect the cost of providing the services too badly. However, at the beginning of 2020, 14 Nigerian stats, including Lagos, Cross River, Kaduna, Anambra, Enugu, Kano, and Osun, have increased the charges for telcos and ISP companies. As a result, companies now had to pay from ₦3,000 and ₦6,000 per 1 metre of laying the cables, which threatened to significantly hike up the service costs for regular users.
Luckily, in late May, one of the Nigerian states announced a 96% reduction in the Right of Way charges, bringing down the costs back to ₦145 per 1 metre. Three other states followed the same procedure, and one Nigerian state even waived the Right of Way charges completely, making it free for ISPs and telcos to lay cables alongside their roads.
2. Which states will be affected?
To date, only five states have made changes in their RoW costs for service providers. These five states and their Right of Way charges include:
- Ekiti – ₦145 per 1 metre;
- Imo – ₦145 per 1 metre;
- Katsina – ₦145 per 1 metre;
- Plateau – ₦145 per 1 metre;
- Kaduna – no charges.
Needless to say, the telcos and ISP companies affected by the changes have been very excited about the prospect of expanding their business and giving millions of Nigerian customers access to better internet and phone services. According to Gbolahan Awonuga, Secretary of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, these companies have been paying around 70% of the overall deployment costs on Right of Way charges. With these charges being decreased or waived completely, the companies will be able to offer the same high-quality services at a reduced price.
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Awonuga also said that with new RoW charges in several Nigerian states, telcos and ISPs might consider changing their tariffs on a state-to-state basis. It means that in the nearest future, states where new charges are implemented, will likely end up paying less for phone and internet use than states where RoW charges are still between ₦3,000 and ₦6,000. It has not been announced yet when the tariff change may take place yet, but we should expect an update in the course of the following months.
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