Report highlights Senegal’s internet obstacles
INTERNET| Sept. 26, 2012, 11:08 a.m.
Google Africa says a study commissioned into Senegal’s internet environment has highlighted key factors holding back development.
Noting that a decade ago, Senegal was one of the most promising African countries in the area of internet adoption, with more than double the Internet penetration in Nigeria, Google says Nigeria is now ahead with 30% of its population enjoying access to the web versus 16% in Senegal.
To understand the issues, Google commissioned a study through Balancing Act. The findings of that study have been summarised in a report titled "Obstacles and Opportunities for the democratization of broadband in Senegal."
Among the main issues identified are rigid licensing and weak regulation, which have resulted in the incumbent operator holding a de facto monopoly on access to the national fiber infrastructure and the copper lines into households. This lack of competition has kept data prices high and inaccessible to many Senegalese.
Balancing Act proposes changes including:
- Internet suppliers must be authorized to build their own infrastructure and compete against incumbents.
- Government should encourage competition and transparency in international capacity by enforcing existing but until now ignored regional regulation.
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