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Kabulis bristle at high internet prices

By Rafiullah Anwari

KABUL: Tens of residents of Kabul, the capital city, on Saturday have staged protests in front of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, criticizing the poor quality internet services and the high internet prices.

Bismillah Hamdard, a member of Woles Zhaghorana Organization and an organizer of the demonstration accused the MCIT of poor management, saying that despite high price, the telecommunication companies have not been able to provide good quality internet services.

If the ministry doesn’t take steps in regards, he said they would stage protest to close the gate of all telecommunication companies. “We arrived here around 6:30am, the security forces misbehave us, they beat one of the organizers,” he said, adding, “we call on the MCIT to drawdown the internet prices, improve the quality.”

Ahmad Ghani, who was among the protestors called on ATRA to take tremendous steps in this regards. “The ministry is not making any reform in the internet price and its quality; we staged the protest to persuade the in charges to pay attention to our problems.

65 years old, Mohammad Isaq said the illegal sell of SIM cards have been posing high security threats. “The MCIT is the source of corruption, robbery, kidnapping because it doesn’t pay attention to illegal SIM cards’ market.”

Meanwhile, the ministry of communication and information technology in a statement said that monitoring and evaluation of the telecommunication companies belongs to ATRA.

The statement read the acting minister has held meetings with officials of telecommunication companies, where he discussed the challenges regarding the issue.

This comes as the telecommunication authorities had earlier said that there would be a significant reduction in the internet price in the near future, although thus far, no progress has been made at this point.

The acting minister of MCIT, Fahim Hashimy told a news conference last week that “Salam” a governmental telecommunication company would be offering about 30 percent decrease in internet price. He called on the private companies to drawdown the prices and provide good quality internet to the citizens.

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