Socio-economic challenges of rural telecommunication access schemes in Nigeria
There has been growing interest on how to provide universal telecommunication access in developing countries. The trend in digital divide between the rural and urban areas for developing countries reveals a growing gap. In this paper, we discussed from a socioeconomic perspective, the various challenges facing the deployment of rural telecommunication access in Nigeria. Successes and failures of existing universal access models in developing countries are highlighted. Exploratory field survey from fifteen rural communities in Nigeria was conducted. The investigation included characterization of rural communities; impact assessment of universal telecommunication access on rural Nigeria and sustainability analysis of possible universal access models vis-à-vis models that have been tested in other parts of the world. The paper provides guidelines to the service providers and regulators in choosing appropriate universal access model to achieve the telecommunication access in rural communities efficiently and effectively considering the peculiarities of Nigeria‟s rural socio-economic landscape.
Keywords: Socio-economic, Rural, Telecommunication, Access, Scheme