Dar's Internet costs up 33%

Costs of Internet services in most cafes in Dar es Salaam Region have once again shot up despite government’s promise that the costs would go down.

The first increase was noted between January and April this year when the price hiked to between 700/- and 1500/- per hour.

Investigation done by this paper in some internet cafes in Mbagala and Mnazi Mmoja areas show that currently surfing for an hour at an internet café costs between 1500/- and 2000/- indicating a 33.3 percent increase.

Speaking to this paper, some of the internet café users said the price hike will deny them the services since they cannot afford to pay the high price.

“People like students or low income earners cannot afford to get the services in those cafes since prices have doubled,” said Shaban Maulid who resides in Buguruni.

He said the costs of internet services should be kept low to enable as many people as possible to access information.

“Last year we were told that once the fibre optic cable is ready the internet costs would go down. But this has not happened,” he said.

An internet café operator at Mnazi Moja, identified as Said Abdi said they have been compelled to raise the price after the internet service provider (ISP) levied higher fee.

“When our ISP hikes its price we are also forced to increase the price for our end user customers,” he said.
Last moth, the Tanzania Telecommunication Company (TTCL) said internet charges would go down because it had cut tariffs on data services by up to 100 per cent.

The TTCL Acting Head of Product Development, Issaya Ernest, was quoted as saying effective last August the wholesale price of a bundle what formerly sold for USD 900 (1.5m/-) would now be available for only USD450 per month.

Likewise, the company’s 256 Mbps broadband line that initially fetched 30, 000/- per month for retail customers has gone up to 512Mbps and is made available at 40, 000/-.

“These changes will benefit more than 40,000 TTCL Internet users in the country including corporate customers connected to the national fibre optic cable,” he said.

The decision, according to Ernest, stems from the company’s commitment to play a leading role in turning Tanzania into an international hub for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and solutions.
Source: The Guardian, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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