EASSy is bringing down internet prices in Botswana

The Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has directed the country’s telecoms operators to reduce the price of a number of regulated wholesale telecom services, following the completion of a study to develop a cost model and pricing framework for services commissioned in January 2010. Mmegi Online reports that mobile termination rates will be cut by BWP0.30 (USD0.04) from the previous rate of BWP0.75 to BWP0.45, which the regulator says will radically reduce the cost of services for end-users. Until 2014 the rate will continue to fall by an average of BWP0.05 per year. Meanwhile, fixed termination rates, which the BTA said are currently marginally below costs, should increase by an average of BWP0.01 annually until 2014. ADSL prices will be revised downwards to align them to costs and make services more affordable to users; the weighted average reduction on wholesales ADSL prices for download speeds of up to 512kbps, 1Mbps and 2Mbps will be 17%.

The new internet rates, according to the BTA, are a result of the government’s investment in the Eastern African Submarine System (EASSy) which launched in July 2010. The government invested around USD100 million in the system, which links Sudan to South Africa via Djibouti, Somalia, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. The regulator said that while some reductions will be immediate, other rates will fall gradually from 1 April 2011.

Original article at Telegeography © Copyright 2011 PriMetrica, Inc.