Under the vigilance of Iraqi ministry of communication, work has been started to improve the quality of Internet service and to lower fees across the country.
In late February, the ministry has announced that it is intending of building a database of all entities providing Internet service in Iraq in order to regulate the work of these groups, measure their efficiency and the quality of their services, and to monitor their rates, said the deputy general director of the ministry’s foreign relations and media Samir Ali al-Hassoun.
He also said, “The ministry has begun sending “official memos to Internet companies in Iraq to provide details on the number of their offices and agents, towers and locations, and their extent of coverage, quality of services, rates and other technical details.”
Mr. al-Hassoun also stated that by going for a series of regulations and measures, the ministry is trying to bind all such companies into committing to provide the best quality of service to Internet users at reasonable rates.
The ministry has also lowered the monthly fees for Internet service to a third of their original price as well as instructed major companies to lower the fees they charge intermediary companies, to reflect on individuals.
He also added that the new plan is aiming for increasing “the number of private sector companies working in the field of Internet service and using the government fibre-optic network.”
This step is intended to break service monopolies and strengthen competition among Internet companies, al-Hassoun said, and it comes amid ministry efforts to boost the state of communications in the country.
The ministry has also inaugurated an underwater sea cable project which will link Iraq with the outside world through the Arab Gulf. This project “will allow us to expand the number of private companies using the fibre-optic network that links ministries via sea cable, and to provide Internet service to citizens, companies and public bureaus at reasonable rates and with high efficiency and speed in comparison to services offered via satellite”, al-Hassoun said.
Lowering prices, yet ensuring quality
The ministry is continuously taking measures to improve the services private sector Internet companies provide to Iraqis, said Saad al-Shakarji, deputy general director of the ministry’s State Company for Internet Services.
Such measures include periodically monitoring the work of communications companies; monitoring violations of any regulations and instructions; and verifying the fees these companies collect in exchange for services.
Kamila al-Musawi of the parliamentary committee on services and reconstruction also said that currently “internet service provided to citizens, in terms of quality and efficiency, is not up to the level required, and it is high-priced.”
She also told to media that it is crucial to boost “monitoring of all companies and offices supplying Internet services, and to activate appropriate legal measures against suppliers who are not committed to improving their services or who fail to comply with the lower rates.”
She concluded by adding that national economy will be benefitted due to developments in this vital sector.