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A Fine Example of Proactive Governance

Sep 16, 2008, 5:41 AM

We highly commend and applaud the government for their initiative in addressing the issue of interconnection rates between the various mobile phone operators in the country. This latest development, which follows a study conducted by an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) consultant that found out that current interconnection rates are high leading to unreasonable direct and indirect costs, is developed into two phases.

According to the report, phase one will ensure that interconnection rates between all operators (mobile and fixed) be decreased to D1.00 with effect from 8th October 2008.

Phase two of the project will ensure that interconnection rates between all operators (mobile and fixed) will be further decreased to 50 Bututs with effect from 8th April 2009 while interconnection rates for international calls will remain unchanged in the absence of competition in international gateways.

This, according to the report, means that the current interconnection rates will be brought down in two phases over a six-month interval commencing 8th October and ending 8th April 2009.

According to Secretary of State for Communication, Badjie Janneh, in recognition of the fact interconnection rates between telecommunications service providers are too high, it was felt necessary to ensure the consumer is protected from both the financial and physical inconvenience caused by such high interconnection rates. This is an example of excellent proactive governance. It shows that the Secretary of State in question and the officials at her department are tuned into the daily realities of the people they serve and are willing to take direct, effective action to address issues that are facing the population. The fact that the changes will be phased is also very fair on the part of the department as it will allow the operators sufficient time to prepare themselves fully for the changes.

These changes will be positive for all the consumers of The Gambia. We hope that other Secretaries of State and the staff of other departments will look at the example set by communications and attune themselves to the needs of the people and take effective action to address issues in a proactive fashion.

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