Seychelles is ranked first in Africa for affordable internet packages for offices and household, a report published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has found, though consumers in Seychelles still lodge many complaints against service providers.
The ranking was determined by looking at the cheapest package that can be offered by the different internet service providers in each country, according to the director general of the communication division at Seychelles’ Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Jeffery Dogley.
Dogley said that as the regulator, DICT is satisfied with the ranking, however, there is room for improvement. “Operators needs to continuously improve their service. And one way for that to happen is there needs to be more competition and introduction of more operators,” said Dogley.
Two telecommunication companies in Seychelles – Cable & Wireless and Airtel – offer packages for households and offices, which costs as low as $18 for 10GB and 20 GB for $38 respectively.
Speaking to SNA Norlis Hoareau, the chief executive of the National Consumer Forum NATCOF, a not for profit organisation, said that despite the good ranking, a lot of complaints are being lodged against the different internet service providers in Seychelles.
Hoareau said: “Most of the complaints are due to overcharging, slow, and frequent interruption in internet services.” Hoareau added that although complaints are received, the organisation have little power to deal with it directly. He added that all the complaints are then sent to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for further investigations.
One of the service providers, Kokonet, offers flexible wireless internet hotspot service through its kokozone several places on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. (Kokonet) Photo License: CC-BY
The 2018 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report was launched during the 16th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS), in December in Geneva, Switzerland.
The report features key ICT data to measure the information society and presented a quantitative analysis of the information society, highlights new and emerging trends and measurement issues.
The report also outlined that Seychelles is among six countries in Africa alongside Botswana, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Mauritius and South Africa that have achieved fixed-broadband prices below the 5 percent threshold set by the Broadband Commission for 2015.
The 5 percent threshold “takes into account your national income per capita. If your national income per capita is 100 rupees (approximately $7), this means that Seychelles needs to have an internet package that cost 100 rupees (approximately $7) or less. If it is above, this means that you will not meet that target,” said Dogley.
“In fact, Seychelles is the country in Africa that provides the most affordable internet for fixed-broadband. For that we are talking about the internet that is provided to households and offices,” said Dogley.
The report also put Seychelles 2nd in Africa after Mauritius for the mobile broadband basket and mobile cellular basket.