Egypt offers lowest ADSL to subscribers

Internet_cafe_in_Egypt.jpgNORTH Africa’s economic giant, Egypt, is offering lowest rates for its ADSL subscribers across Middle East and Africa, an official report confirmed.

It was announced by the Arab Advisors Group, that Egypt offers the lowest rates for ADSL subscribers enabling customer to install their own home internet facility services. But despite all this, an overwhelming majority of Egyptians still remain on the outside of the telecommunications boom in the country.

According to the study, Egypt ranked number one, along with Algeria, in charging the least for ADSL fees. Iraq and Mauritania have the highest fees. The report, titled “ADSL Rates in the Arab World: A Regional Comparison” analyzed ADSL rates offered by the main Internet service providers (ISPs) in the Middle East during October. It compared the rates for speeds of 256, 512 and 1024 Kbps.

A number of local newspapers displayed bright headlines arguing Egypt offers the lowest rates in the Arab world. This was seen most clearly in the country’s English language The Daily News Egypt, who said “Egypt offers lowest ADSL rates in Arab world.”

“They obviously miss the point about the report. It doesn’t say that Internet rates are the cheapest for the people, it just says that when converted to dollar amounts it is the cheapest,” Ahmed Shennawy, a freelance Internet technician, told ITNewsAfrica. He believes that this study is quite misleading in its assertions.

“We have seen the Internet increasingly lower its prices in recent years, but it is still far off from being accessible for all Egyptians,” he added. Internet penetration is part of the government’s ongoing move toward creating a society that fits into the global information age. Less than a decade ago, barely 750,000 Egyptians connected to the Internet on a daily basis. Today, that number has jumped to nearly 10 million.

“This shows we are moving toward our goals set forth by the ministry of communication and technology in 1999,” Mohamed Omran, former CEO of Egypt’s semi-governmental Information Technology and Industry Development Agency, told ITNewsAfrica. He believes that while there is still a long way to go for Egypt, the progress made cannot be underestimated.

The Internet will play an important role in developing society. Although claims that Egypt offers the cheapest ADSL rates is misleading, the fact that rates are low will be a major factor that could see millions more Egyptians browse the World Wide Web in coming years–ITNewsAfrica.


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