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Sudan internet fees rise by 15%

August 9 - 2019 KHARTOUM
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Telecommunication companies in Sudan have raised the price of internet subscription packages by 15 percent. Telecommunication companies have started to compensate internet subscribers for their losses during the internet shut-down in June.

Internet users were shocked to find that the monthly subscription became 15% more expensive this week. They were not informed beforehand, as required, but received automated messages.

Internet experts consider the increase in internet prices without prior notice, a clear violation of the regulations of the Sudan Communications and Information Commission. Therefore telecommunication companies must be held accountable.

About five million of the at least 42 million people living in Sudan have access to the internet.

Radio Dabanga reported earlier this month that people all over Sudan are suffering from daily increasing prices of basic consumer goods. Inflation in Sudan rose to 52.59 per cent in July comparable to 47.68 per cent in June and 44.95 per cent in May. A British analyst warned for "an impeding economic clash" in the country.

Affected by shut-down

On social media, lawyers and civil society organisations have been actively calling on those who were affected by the shut-down of the internet service from June 10 until July 9. The shut-down was ordered by the ruling Transitional Military Council citing reasons of ‘national security’ following the violent break-up of the sit-in in Khartoum on June 3.

The lawyers offer to take action on behalf of the people affected in order to be compensated for the losses incurred.

A number of Consumer Protection Associations in the country have already filed lawsuits against telecommunication companies.

The World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimated that the daily losses caused by a shut-down amount to SDG 2.03 billion day (about $ 45 million*).

The Internet and Applications Companies Division of the Sudanese Employers' Union expects that the compensation to be paid to its 52 companies will reach $1.8 billion.

Telecommunication companies have started to compensate internet subscribers who paid for their monthly package in June but did not benefit from them due to the blockade.

The companies have also opened the door to reports of losses suffered by their customers, and complaints about the quality of internet services, which are considered weak by people living in the peripheries of the country.

 


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