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Business News Tue, 7 Apr 2020

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Today in 2019: CEO of Telcos debunks claims of high cost of internet

A year today, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ken Ashigbey debunked claims that there is high cost of internet in the country.

He made the statement in reaction to the World Bank Africa Vice President, Hafez Ghanem’s complaint to Mrs. Ursula Owusu, the Communications Minister about the high cost of internet.

But in an interview with Radio Ghana, Mr. Ashigbey stated that Ghana’s internet affordability is better as compared to some other countries.

“…If you take an average you find out that Ghana is not doing bad in terms of other African countries. And even if you take Global Comparison as well we are not doing badly because we are ranked 20th globally in the World,” he said.

In the wake of the deadly coronavirus, demand for a reduction in the cost of internet by service providers as the country is on partial lockdown has risen.

More than ever before citizens need the internet to work from home, connect to their families and follow the news.

However, the Telecommunications Chamber in a press statement advised consumers to “avoid unnecessary video calls” in order to reduce their cost of data.

Read the original story published by KasapaOnline on April 7, 2019

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ken Ashigbey has refuted claims that the cost of Internet in Ghana is high.

This comes after the World Bank Africa Vice President Hafez Ghanem lamented the high cost of internet in the country when he paid a courtesy call to Communications Minister Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful.

But in an interview with Radio Ghana, Mr. Ashigbey said on the contrary, Ghana’s Affordability Ranking in the World is improving steadily.

“…If you take an average you find out that Ghana is not doing bad in terms of other African countries. And even if you take Global Comparison as well we are not doing badly because we are ranked at 20th globally in the World.

He added that various factors determine the cost of Internet including the depreciation of the cedi.

“The Telecom industry is a very competitive industry, and to be able to get market share, the quality of service is one of them. But pricing is also one of them, and so you ask yourself why are we where we are? There are various factors that will determine price. You should bear in mind that the Telecommunication industry pays about forty percent. So for every one cedi that you pay to any of the Telcos, 40% of that goes as Taxes, levies, fees of a particular sort … and you’ll have to also remember that within the Telecommunication Industry the Capex (Capital Expenditure) and even your operational expenditure, majority of that is in foreign exchange, whiles your tariffs are in local currency, so anytime there is a depreciation in the value of the cedi it affects your capex that you bring in,” he said.

Research findings released in October 2018 by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) showed that more than 2.3 billion people live in countries where just 1GB of mobile data is not affordable.

The 2018 Affordability Report warned that the high cost to connect is keeping billions offline and pushing the global goal of universal internet access further out of reach.

The report which assessed the policy frameworks designed to advance affordable internet access across 61 low- and middle-income countries found over 60% of countries have unaffordable internet. Of the 61 countries studied, just 24 had affordable internet, where 1GB of mobile data costs less than 2% of the average income.

Across the countries analysed, just 1GB of data costs over 5% of average monthly income; the price skyrockets to around and upwards of 20% of average income in a handful of countries

The report also found growth in people using the internet has slowed. The UN originally estimated that 50% global internet penetration would be achieved by the end of 2017; a downturn in the growth of internet access and use means that we now don’t expect to reach that milestone until mid-2019.

Again, according to the report, policies have barely changed. The pace of policy change to drive internet prices down marked its slowest improvement to date. Measures of the policy frameworks in place to enable greater affordability increased by just 1% in 2017, despite growing recognition of the critical relationship between online access and economic growth.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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