The Commonwealth Broadband Forum held in Abuja, Nigeria from 16th to 17th June, 2015. The forum was organized by the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO) and hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
In his welcome address, the Secretary General of the CTO, Professor Tim Unwin, stated that the forum with the theme "Broadband for all: From access to inclusion" aimed to address the challenges of broadband exclusion and sought to provide tangible solutions that could be easily adopted and implemented to empower the lives of millions more in Commonwealth countries and beyond.
Various topics discussed by experts at the forum included: Broadband Access: A Necessity, National Broadband Plans, Regulatory Considerations, Connectivity and Access, Financing Broadband, Value-Added Services and Innovations, Mobile Technologies, Spectrum Opportunities, Youth and Technology and lastly, Technology and Social Inclusion.
The Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund Nigeria, Mr. Abdullahi Maikano chaired the session on "Financing Broadband" during which presentations were made on funding mechanisms for promoting the deployment of broadband infrastructure (Kojo Boakye, Alliance for Affordable Internet) as well as why universal service funds fail (Parvez Iftikhar, USAID/GBI). Thereafter, the experts discussed and suggested how stakeholders can work together to make broadband accessible and affordable. The suggestion on utilizing the universal service funds for deploying broadband infrastructure, especially in the un-served areas in the various countries, received much emphasis.