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27.07.2004 Feature Article

GT's ADSL - Price Too High

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I am much troubled for the way people are reacting to the introduction of the GT's product i.e: ADSL4U.

My concern is that nobody so far is concerned about the fee involved, but rather, Ghanaians are happy that GT has finally done it. It is good that Ghana Telecom has made it but the price is inconcievablely high, $95.00, gracious, and people are happy about it. Of course I am also happy that people can surf the net relaxed, and not looking at their watches, but the question is how many Ghanaians are going to benefit of this new product.

My second question is; is the Government or the Public Ultility Regulatory Commission aware of that fee? And thirdly, why have the government allowed the GT to fix the price in dollars in the first place, is it because they were ashamed or afraid to tell Ghanaians that they are going to pay close to 900 000.00 Cedis for a common internet conection per month?

Whilst even in Europe and America including Norway people are paying less than $30.00 (dollars) for the same service. And where are Ghanains who are mostly earning 12 000.00 cedis pay day going to meet this 900 000.00 cedis? The caculation here is that, if someone who is earning 12000.00 cedis per day is able to work the whole month including the weekends his take home for the month will be 360 000.00, so someone should tell me how is this person going to afford the ADSL 4U service?

Someone will tell me that, the person will cut his coat according to his or her size. That is true but the internet nowadays is no more a luxury thing, is a nessesity, that is why the government is trying to connect all secondary schools to the internet. Having said that, those of us who will not benefit from that will also need the internet to be in line with the government's policy of the Golden Age of Business. We need the computer and the internet to upgrade our scills, otherwise we will be confined to the minimum wage for ever and ever. I believe on realizing the the importance and the comitment the government has attached to the area of ICT and it's determination to connect all second cycle institution to the internet, the management of GT has deliberately fixed that $95.00 per month bearing in mind that eventually government will subsidise if not foot the whole cost of those bills. For instance if 1000 subscribtions are allocated to schools and other government departments, they are sure of banging in $95 000.00 per month. I believe this is their only motive, other than that I don't see any other reason for that $95.00 monthly fee charging by the company. Because I don't think those ADSL gadgets will cost more than $200.00 per unit.

Even if the cost is that high, they could have passed the full cost on to subscribers and thereafter charge a reasonable fee for the service monthly. I think it is time PURC stand up and defent consumers of the Ultility companies from suffocating their costomers, they are there to set standards for these companies but not to compromise at the expence of the poor Ghanaians. I think the usual talk of full cost recovery is not fair, because the Ghanaian woker is not being paid the full cost of service they are offering, so they must be considerd. I am not saying that the companies must not make profits, what I am saying here is that the Government must try to work out a mechanism to ensure that workers paid enough to meet at least their basic needs. I don't know how, they do, because that is why they are being paid for. If only internet service can consume two people's whole monthly salaries then Ghanaians are not worth living.

It is also important to ensure that all prices in the country are based on the national currency, because Ghana is a soverign state, despite HIPC. I drop my case and I hope you will do me a favour to post this of your site. Yours Sincerely, Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Kwasi Prempeh
Kwasi Prempeh, © 2004

The author has 3 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwasiPrempeh

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