By Angela Nkwocha
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that it is very important to meet the variety of needs in the original design of telecommunications systems, so that an increasing number of users can benefit from available services.
It says is considering using Assistive Technology (AT) to address unmet needs in the nation’s telecommunications sector as it will aid telecom availability, accessibility and usability.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta made this known at the conference on developmental programme for Assistive Technology in Telecommunications to address Unmet Needs held in Abuja.
The EVC said the Commission decided to turn to AT through universal design in all forms of telecommunication services design, in order to address these unmet needs adding that the technology when deployed would assist in fulfillment of its universal access and service obligations (UASO) in compliance with the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
He further explained that the assignment of Assistive Technology functions is an addition and novel regulatory approach towards fulfilling the universal access and service obligation.
“A major requirement of a utility regulator like the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC is to be in continual fulfillment of its universal access and service obligations (UASO).
“Achieving this mandate involves paying due attention to new media development and in particular on the approaches to availability, accessibility and usability.
“Notwithstanding the underlining design or manufacturing philosophy adopted, it is very important to meet this wide variety of needs in the original design of telecommunications systems, so that an increasing number of users can benefit from available services.
“Taking into cognisance that both accessibility and usability could differ for individual depending on physical abilities just as it can differ for sectors-specific transactions we search for assistance”.
Danbatta said assistance is not only needed for the physically challenged but required to be given, stressing that, in national interest assistance is required especially with new media in surveillance, immigration, policing, trade amongst others.
He further averred that through its different WPs, SG-16 develops capability to handle different information media and control actions which varies within wide boundaries amongst users of telecommunications and multimedia services.