Telecom Regulator urges internet service providers to cut rates in Sierra Leone

Momoh Konte, the Chairman of the National Telecommunication Communications (NATCOM) of Sierra Leone, called on Internet service providers to lower their tariffs. He has given Orange, Africell and Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) until August 15 to make these tariff adjustments. According to the telecoms regulator, if these companies are still reluctant to execute after this period, the public authority will enforce this injunction by force.

The statements of President Momoh Konte intervene after several complaints from consumers about the high cost of Internet packages, which do not contribute to universal access to the advantages of the digital world. The director of NATCOM wants a reduction of tariffs of at least 20 per cent. According to him, by lowering prices, service providers have everything to gain. More affordable packages will generate demand and strong demand will generate more profits.

Beyond the high cost of access, there is also access to quality Internet services that is problematic. Sierra Leone is connected to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) fibre optic submarine cable since 2011. But the deployment of this broadband connectivity infrastructure across the country remains weak. Mobile operators Orange and Africell already offer 3G, but quality degrades rapidly after leaving Freetown, deplores the consumers. This is the reason why the two telecom companies were pushed to carry out the modernization of their respective networks.