Lanre Ore FiberOne online
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In an exclusive interview with IT Edge News, Lanre Ore, CEO of FiberOne Broadband, delves into the significant challenges of providing fiber infrastructure in Nigeria. He emphasizes how the government can play a crucial role in achieving the national goal of connectivity for every Nigerian. According to Ore, the government can foster innovation, competition, and investment in the telecommunications sector, thereby driving economic growth and bridging the digital divide in Nigeria. Key measures include encouraging infrastructure sharing, establishing a robust regulatory framework, providing tax incentives and grants, facilitating access to financing, supporting local content and talent development, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and implementing advanced network policies that promote fiber optic deployment.

What regulatory challenges do you currently face and how do these impact your operations and growth prospects?

As a leading broadband telecom services provider in Nigeria, we face significant regulatory challenges that impact our operations and growth. The most prominent challenges include multiple taxation and constant regulatory changes, which directly affect our business and indirectly impact our customers.

RELATED: FiberOne Broadband ranked second leading ISP in Nigeria by NCC

Multiple Taxation: We are obligated to pay the annual operating levy to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other fees for signage, advertisement, changes in service prices, and plan modifications. Additionally, we must pay fees to various federal and state agencies such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), and Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA). These multiple taxations significantly impact our revenue and operational costs, making it challenging to meet user expectations. This also discourages new business growth and limits internet service expansion, especially in remote areas.

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How does FiberOne prioritize customer satisfaction?

At FiberOne, innovation is at the core of our operations. We are pioneers in customer experience within Nigeria’s challenging economic and service delivery landscape. Over the past year, we have embarked on a transformative digital journey, enhancing our services with cutting-edge solutions such as our FOB APP V2.0. This app includes features like the Lost Days counter, which compensates customers for service interruptions, and PCC technology for last-mile installations, minimizing link disruptions. During recent submarine cable disruptions, our proactive approach to capacity and upgrades allowed us to minimize the impact on our customers. Despite operational challenges like road construction, we remain dedicated to improving customer experience through continuous innovation and exploring new solutions.

Government can foster innovation, competition, and investment in the telecommunications sector, drive economic growth and bridge the digital divide in Nigeria [by] encouraging infrastructure sharing; robust regulatory framework; providing tax incentives and grants; facilitating access to financing; supporting local content and talent development: fostering innovation and entrepreneurship; and implementing advanced network policies that promote fiber optic deployment.

How do you believe the government could support companies like FiberOne to overcome challenges and thrive in the Nigerian market?

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To better support companies like FiberOne Broadband, the government should adopt a multifaceted approach that addresses the complexities of Nigeria’s telecommunications landscape. This includes:

  • Encouraging Infrastructure Sharing: Reducing costs and improving network quality through collaboration.
  • Robust Regulatory Framework: Promoting competition, innovation, and consumer protection.
  • Investing in Digital Literacy: Promoting broadband service adoption, particularly in underserved areas.
  • Providing Tax Incentives and Grants: Supporting research and development to keep companies competitive.
  • Facilitating Access to Financing: Helping smaller and local players expand and upgrade networks.
  • Promoting Public-Private Partnerships: Driving infrastructure development and service quality improvement.
  • Supporting Local Content and Talent Development: Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Implementing Advanced Network Policies: Promoting fiber optic deployment and other infrastructures to support broadband growth.

By adopting this comprehensive and forward-thinking approach, the government can foster innovation, competition, and investment in the telecommunications sector, driving economic growth and bridging the digital divide in Nigeria.

Why should operators deem cybersecurity awareness as essential for business sustainability?

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Operators must prioritize cybersecurity awareness to ensure business sustainability. This involves protecting customer data to maintain trust and comply with legal obligations, preventing financial losses from cyberattacks, adhering to regulatory requirements, preserving business reputation, and demonstrating strong cybersecurity practices as a competitive advantage.

At FiberOne Broadband, we mitigate cybersecurity risks through:

  • Employee Training and Awareness: Regular training sessions and workshops on cybersecurity threats and best practices.
  • Advanced Security Technologies: Using firewalls, IDS/IPS, and antivirus software to protect our network.
  • Proactive Vulnerability Management: Identifying and patching vulnerabilities to prevent breaches.
  • Comprehensive Incident Response: Quick and effective response to cyber incidents with defined roles and procedures.
  • Adherence to Best Practices and Regulations: Regularly updating policies and procedures to remain compliant with standards.

By implementing these measures, we ensure robust protection against cybersecurity threats, maintaining customer trust and business sustainability.

 How do you envisage growth for FiberOne in the next five years with the adoption of 5G?

The next five years will be transformative for FiberOne Broadband as we leverage Fiber technology to revolutionize connectivity. Our fiber-optic network will provide the necessary speed, reliability, and security. We are investing in technologies like edge computing, artificial intelligence, and IoT to deliver unprecedented services.

The adoption of Fiber will spur innovation, allowing us to expand network coverage and enhance high-speed connectivity. Our customers will benefit from seamless, ultra-low latency experiences, whether streaming, gaming, or working remotely. We aim to lead smart city initiatives, improving urban infrastructure for safer, more efficient, and sustainable living.

The next five years will see significant growth and transformation for FiberOne Broadband as we continue to push the boundaries of high-speed connectivity and innovative services. We are ready to lead this change and invite our customers, partners, and competitors to join us on this exciting journey.

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