The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has announced grant funding for a feasibility study to assist Nigerian startup Ekovolt Telco in expanding internet connection for disadvantaged communities in the Niger Delta. A pilot project will be used to test fixed wireless broadband technology as a solution as part of the research. Vernonburg Group LLC, situated in Georgia, was chosen by Ekovolt to undertake the research.
“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.