Bsystems CEO advocates for affordable broadband prices through tax breaks
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The Chief Executive Officer of Bsystems, Thomas Barfi, is advocating for a massive tax breaks for Mobile Network and Broadband Wireless Companies in the country from the government to enable them provide consumers with affordable cost effective internet services.
Speaking exclusively to Biztechafrica in Accra, Mr. Barfi is strongly of the view that such a move on the part of the Ghanaian government would automatically impact positively on the prices of broadband since the cost of internet service in the country is very expensive and nothing seems to be done about it.
“The cost of broadband is not affordable it’s still expensive from where I’m sitting. Look everyone is using the phone to use data and trust me the cost is not cheap it’s high.”
The Alliance for Affordable Internet in its Report confirm that broadband services in Ghana are relatively expensive and therefore, remains a luxury for many Ghanaians, noting that almost 60 percent of Ghanaians said that the high cost of access prevented from using the internet.
Recently the Broadband Communications Chamber (BBCC) has also raised concerns about the regulators (NCA’s) inability to address the issues of uniformity and fairness within the broadband space therefore making the cost of broadband services expensive.
“Currently, there remains a great deal of uncertainty in the Ghanaian broadband industry. Investors are focused on what they see in an industry especially in relation to regulatory uniformity and fairness. If this uncertainty persists, the Ghanaian broadband industry shall not be seen as attractive to investors. It goes without saying that it is important for the regulator to help us all see the clarity in regulation in order to ensure sustainable investments” the group said.
The CEO of Bsystems acknowledged the burden placed on network operators to build their own infrastructures to enable them rollout their services which comes with a huge cost and stress the need the for the government to step in by providing incentives such as tax breaks and tax holidays.
Overall broadband services are expensive until maybe we move to the 5G even the cost of implementing the 4G , equipment, networking together and that, these are all very expensive structures to put in place. The telco and other operators are doing it, and they are doing it out of their own private sources and not from the government, so as much as we want them to put all this around Ghana, who is going fund all this? There should be some breaks for them maybe getting some of their equipment into the country for them for free, he emphasized.
The telcos are doing everything themselves in terms of building their own infrastructure to rollout service to customer with little or no government intervention, a situations that automatically cause the services and products offered consumers to be also expensive.