Good day fellow citizens
I would like to address a small issue that might be of interest to many if action will be taken
For now, every Tanzanian is to focus on the Industrialization theme, to make the country move on and grow the economy in general. So as an IT professional I have been thinking and thinking, scratching my hair on how do I participate on the president theme to make it a success. I had one big challenge that is lingering in my mind all the time (internet service costs) are very high that they are not encouraging investments that are related to availability of internet for users to access your service.
I took a one example of a service that I can do and serve the community around me. Virtualization service, where I will be having a small data center running KVM or OpenVPS to enable the community around to have virtual servers hosted at my premises, instead of them buying from UK, US, India and the like. For this kind of service to run effectively you will need: –
- Proper power backup systems which is a onetime investment in like 4 -5 years then you do some replacements/upgrade.
- Good Internet service connected to the servers for the users to be able to access their virtual servers without no big hustle.
Internet service, is a monthly basis subscription and for now the current good price in the market is US $ 100 so for a start you might need lowest 10Mbps which will make up to US$ 1000 per month equivalent to Tshs 2,260,000 per month. This amount is really expensive and even the package you will be paying for is not enough to serve to your clients. So industrialization on IT related service Data is a big problem which leads to most of Tanzanians hosting their website and other services outside of the country.
Till this level, the world is telling “Africa are internet users and not internet producers” we are getting connected to the internet to access services that are hosted outside of Africa and not building our datacenters with enough internet capacity to enable us host our services locally.
Another example which makes the IT industry somehow expensive on self-employment in regards to data costs.
A doctor can open a dispensary and patients will visit their hospital, they get service at the premises
A Tuition teacher can open a school and tell students to come daily at his place for learning
For an IT person, if you want to provide like good hosting service, email service. you need to have good internet on your data center to enable the clients access the service your selling to them, so if there is not good internet mean, you clients have to visit your premises to open their website, checking mails daily and other services, which can’t be true at all.
I tried to talk to some of the available ISP’s on why they are giving the service at a higher price, and some of them who tried to be open, they said the government is enforcing the Internet price to be higher, reasons being: –
- Creating a level playing ground for every internet service provider in the market, prices to be controlled by the government and not the individual companies
- High price make the VAT and Exercise duty go high too
So if you take the circumstances above as true, which is unconfirmed scenarios, they are not true and makes the internet service be expensive and not leading to the industrialization theme.
My opinions for the internet price, at this level of world freedom of information to everyone, Internet should be at a highest price of US $20 maximum. so that everyone can afford, either for use on business or for home use, should be available and at a reasonable price and better service.
Lowering the Internet price will not affect the government income (VAT and exercise duty) at all. Course if the internet price is as low as $20 /Mbps it means many users will subscribe, which will lead to more income generation, users will take enough packages for example if a user is to take 10mbps for office use with is not enough and limiting users not to use certain service at a certain time. They will double the capacity to make users not to hustle using the service hence going back to the same cost they are paying currently and at an increased efficiency, and letting the government getting its usual income from the service.
Other people claim that if there is good internet service, people will not work rather than using social media which will waste their time, this can be true, Africa we are using more social medias than the other continents where they have better internet services. Let’s put more effort to make internet available and educate the users to use it for generating income and create employments at the end of the day.
Let’s take for example, a person selling items online using social media. A client will get interested and they communicate to agree on price, then M-PESA might cover the gap of payment process and I ask a motorbike driver to send the item to the client. Here social media have been used for business purpose, money payment process adds cash to the agent by using their service. Employment has been created by sending the driver to do the delivery. So how do you say social medias are of wasting time?
Anyone who can help streamline in any ways to reach where internet governance can be reviewed and make internet cost be at lower price and availability to everyone.