While some Nigerians continue to be excited by the idea of Google’s free Wi-Fi across the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has taken step to frustrate the global internet firm’s agenda.
The NCC, which regulates the telecoms industry in Nigeria, recently issued a complaint to the Federal Government arguing that Google’s free Wi-Fi offer is tantamount to an “evasion of regulatory oversight”.
According to the complaint which was issued to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Google’s seeming generous offer of free Wi-Fi in the country, could be illegal and obscured by conditions that do not grant the NCC supervisory rights.
The NCC further argued that Google’s continued in-road into Nigeria has continued over the years, even though the internet company is not even licensed to do business in the country.
“google is operating in nigeria without being licensed by the commission with the implications that it does not pay applicable fees, levies and taxes that are paid by other players in the telecommunications sector.
“there are several other irregularities in the structure under which google presently provides its free public wi-fi for which the commission requested it to provide information that will clarify certain issues that have cropped up in the course of trying to streamline its usage of short message service (sms) for user authentication. google has till date failed to provide the requested information, which has stalled efforts to resolve the issues.”
The NCC also alleged in its complaint that Google has refused to settle some of its licensed local partners, even as the company allegedly keeps dealing with some illegal companies that provide illegal SMS services in the country.
Google is one of the world’s biggest internet companies, whose services are essential to 21st Century living.
However, the company is also notorious for constantly violating Governments’ regulations in Europe and elsewhere.
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The company has also come under attack for its alleged violation of users’ privacy due to inappropriate management of data.
In 2017, the company was fined the sum of $2.7 billion by the European Union’s antitrust officials. This was punishment for the company’s alleged offence of unfairly favouring some of its own services over those of rivals.