U.S. Trade and Development Agency to Fund Internet Access Expansion in Nigeria’s Underserved Communities

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced grant funding for a feasibility study to help Nigerian company Ekovolt Telco expand internet access for underserved communities in the Niger Delta region. The study will include a pilot project to test fixed wireless broadband technology as a solution. Ekovolt selected Georgia-based Vernonburg Group LLC to conduct the study.

“Quality internet infrastructure is critical to Nigeria’s economic growth. This is why USTDA is prioritizing partnerships with companies like Ekovolt,” said Amb. Vinai Thummalapally (ret.), USTDA’s Acting Director. “Through our Access Africa initiative, USTDA is connecting high-quality U.S. solutions to support the deployment of critical broadband infrastructure in Nigeria and communities all across Africa.”

USTDA’s study will assess market demand and determine the technical and commercial viability of expanding last-mile fixed wireless broadband access across nine states in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. The study will also include a test deployment of Motorola’s 4G LTE technology as a potential solution for expanding connectivity for up to 550,000 users.

“We are excited to partner with USTDA to create a more inclusive digital economy in the Niger-Delta region,” said Emeka Ebo, Ekovolt’s Managing Director. “This partnership and collaboration with U.S. technology companies including Motorola provides the platform to adopt, test and deploy innovative wireless technologies. This will help us promote local digital solutions that improve access to healthcare, literacy and commerce.”

This project advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build Back Better World partnership. It also supports Access Africa, USTDA’s initiative to advance the development of inclusive, secure, and sustainable ICT infrastructure across Africa, and the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa initiative to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa.

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