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Internet State Monopoly Algeria Telecom: The Catastrophic Situation of the Internet in Algeria

Algeria is at all times lagging behind in terms of Internet use, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Algeria has an effective Internet situation. The Algerian Internet end-user knows better than anyone the extent of shortcomings in Internet services and broadband connectivity.

However, this reality is even more difficult to accept for citizens who realize that the poor and destitute grow everyday in Algeria in terms of utilizing IT services.
End-users in Algeria are in a catastrophic situation characterized by constant internet technical latency, high cost, frequent cuts of online Internet subscriptions.  

The situation of the Internet in Algeria is still alarming. It is worth mentioning that a growing number of Algerian end-users have suffered for decades from bad connections due to state technical monopoly over Internet ISPs.

The Algerian authority wants to privatize many of its national companies. This is not the case with the ‘Telecom sector,’ in which Internet state monopoly predominates. Internet access and telephone lines are provided and controlled by ‘Algeria Telecom’.

Algeria Telecom is a state-owned company that monopolizes the national IT market and Internet routing services in the country, as well as the only Internet service provider (ISP). The lack of competition in this sector has resulted in a delay in new mobile services or device development and diversification that would benefit the end user. 

Article 14 of ministerial decree no 98-257 of August 25, 2002 has not been amended yet. The decree makes ISPs responsible for the sites they host and requires them to take “all necessary steps to ensure constant surveillance” of content to prevent access to “material that can harm public order and morality.” In 2014, journalists reported that it could take up to two days to receive their e-mails. They believe the government is spying on them.

In order to put an end to this coercive internet monopoly by Algeria Telecom, private companies and CEOs specialized in providing Internet services called upon the government to begin the liberation of the national network of fiber optics as well as the points connecting to the international network.

The private sector suggested the creation of an independent company to manage the national network of fiber optics and the national infrastructure. But Algeria Telecom still monopolizes ISPs to this day.

Algeria Telecom is acting as the only owner and holder of Internet service providers. The state completely failed in its strategy to develop new social or economic online services for end-users.

Algeria is considered to be one of the countries with the slowest Internet connectivity in the world (ranked 174)[1]. The country is badly positioned with a rate of 2.5 Mbps (OpenNet index). 

Certainly Algeria Telecom is the only state service provider of the Internet. It has recently increased the speed of connectivity to its customers by charging the same rates. The rate remained unchanged for many customers.

Meanwhile, the improvements are minor and Internet broadband connection remains slow. In addition to the bad connection, IT infrastructures are still underdeveloped. Several localities and places in Algeria are still being disconnected to this day.  

The infrastructure of the Internet in Algeria requires new policies and strategies to be implemented in order to make the online situation more suitable for Internet end- users. The poor quality of Internet connectivity is due mainly to selling the same rate of megabytes to more than 40 families at once which cause major online blockages.

The state-owned company Algeria Telecom adopted a strategy that aims at improving broadband access and high speed across the country to make these services available for all citizens.

The purpose of this strategy is to connect all regions to the telephone network using optical fiber to provide customers with high-quality services. It also aims to make these services an engine for economic growth, developing broadband to meet the high demands of a knowledgeable society.

Recently, Algeria Telecom completed 279 Multi-Service Access Node Sites (MSAN) in the province of Algiers. It offers its customers a comprehensive range of 200,000 new connections to high-speed Internet. Algeria has, despite the introduction 4G, a long way to reach a place among the countries where high-speed Internet can be easily accessed by end-users.
 
[1] http://www.algerie-focus.com/blog/2014/07/connexion-a-internet-les-...

This Article was published on: http://igmena.org/Internet-State-Monopoly-Algeria-Telecom

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