AKS Needs the Fiber Optic Tech
THE IBOM PULPIT©
Down-to-earth and bold commentaries about the Akwa Ibom State, and about Nigeria.
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AKS Needs Fiber Optics Tech
Friday, November 23, 2007
Dr. Bassey Antai – AKS Commissioner for Science and Technology
Fiber optics is a communications technology that uses thin filaments of glass or other transparent materials. Fiber optic technology offers extremely high transmission speeds, allowing for data-intensive services such as video-on-demand.
Fiber optics is the way to go. Verizon FiOS (Verizon is a US telecommunications Company) about two weeks ago extended its FiOS network through TIP‘s neck of the woods. It is simply the new face of telecommunications spreading fast to cover the world.
The trend has hit Nigeria. Two thumbs-up to Globacom for pioneering Nigeria’s first fiber optics network. Commissioning Glo’s fiber optics backbone, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Jameel Mohamed reportedly said:
“This exclusive, high capacity, high-speed digital circuit provides the customer an opportunity to combine a variety of telecommunication applications, including the transmission of point-to-point voice, high speed data, fax and video.”
According to a THISDAY ONLINE report, the 10,000 kilometers network excludes Akwa Ibom state, not even is the consideration of a tail bone extending from Port Harcourt (Rivers) or Owerri (Imo) through Uyo. Hopefully, another network will launch its FiOS backbone infrastructure through the AKS.
Perhaps, demographic and other major indices justify the exclusion, or it is another one of those cases of having conveniently “forgotten” that AKS has a ripe and potentially viable telecommunications market.
But AKS needs to be a part of the FiOS backbone in anticipation of the following among other things:
Proposed statewide industrialization. Companies and Corporations will most definitely find a FiOS network indispensable.
Schools that are “pleasant centers of excellence”. Education Commissioner, Dr. Ebebe Ukpong, disclosed that “the thrust of this administration’s action plan for education sector in the State was on the transformation of schools’ dilapidated infrastructure into pleasant centres of excellence facilities”. It will take TIP at least four years of continuous thinking and watching to report what “pleasant” means.
Exponential growth in communication and other technology needs of the state starting within five now.
It might be too late for Globacom to redesign her network backbone infrastructure. Perhaps not. It is worth trying… anything can happen in Nigeria, as the saying goes. AKS cannot afford to be without a solid technology infrastructure. With a profile of objectives and responsibilities such as below, TIP expects that Hon. Commissioner Dr. Antai should nose around for major tech initiatives and boosters that AKS should get involved with. How else is he going to implement Ministry objectives?
Objectives of the Ministry
- Promote and sustain the development and co-ordination of Science and Technology relevant to the needs and circumstances of the State and Nation
- Develop, through education and training, high quality human resources and recognize excellence in their contribution to the State.
- Ensure that scientific and technological development improve the welfare of the citizens.
- Establish, promote and maintain private sector linkages in Science and Technology.
- Utilize the results of worldwide research and development to strengthen such production sectors as agriculture and industry.
- Increase the State’s competitiveness in trade. Create, increase and maintain an indigenous Science and Technology base through research and development.
- To develop and create information awareness in Science &Technology;.
- To develop indigenous talents in Science & Technology;.
- To develop Science & Technology for creation of wealth, enhance quality of life and develop competitive technology through applied science research;..
- To ensure that Akwa Ibom State plays a leadership role in the Science and Technology development efforts of Nigeria.
Responsibilities of the Ministry
- To Transform Akwa Ibom State into a technology-driven economy, thus creating prosperity for our people and communities by developing superior infrastructure and processes that will support the responsible exploitation of our natural endowments for growth and sustainable development.