Govt to ensure telecommunication services benefit users

THE government has promised to continue working to ensure telecommunications services in the country effectively benefit the users and contribute to development of the nation.

Deputy Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Engineer Kundo Mathew made the statement, while representing minister of the docket, Mr Nape Nnauye at a one day meeting on ‘Education and Awareness for the Users of Telecommunication Service’ held here on Wednesday. It was organised by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority- Consumer Consultative Council (TCRA- CCC).

“Communication is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. We are observing an increase in the use of mobile phones and internet services, especially after internet services started being available through mobile phones,” he said.

He added that internet users in the country have increased from 23,142,960 in 2018 to 29,169,958 in June this year. On the other hand, the average of phone lines registration is 1.9 million for each region in the country.

Mr Mathew said that some of factors that are contributing to growth of the sectors are good policies, laws, guidelines and regulations that supervise the sector, low prices of telecommunications services, presence of National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) and government’s efforts in supervising fair competition.

He said major challenge that is facing consumers of the telecommunications services is the failure to know their rights and responsibilities and what to do when they are receiving services that do not meet their needs.

“The Council must work to ensure that the consumers are able to demand for their rights and at the same time, to be able to fulfill their responsibilities in the society. In that, I urge that the Council’s work must mainly focus on advocating for the consumers’ rights and help them improve standards of living by ensuring that telecommunications services are available at all corners of the country,” he explained.

He noted that it is important for consumers of the telecommunications services to be aware of the outcomes of the choices they make, while using the services.

“The government’s vision for having this council in place is to help the consumers of telecommunications services to make good choices and end up with good results. Every user of these services must be aware of the price, especially those related to internet services,” he said.

Earlier, TCRA CCC Executive Secretary, Ms Mary Shao said that during the meeting participants would elect members for the Regional Telecommunications Users Committee. She added that there are already 15 committees, whereby two are in Zanzibar and others 13 are in the Mainland.

The meeting was attended by groups of people with disabilities, councillors, communication services providers, women groups, representatives of Civil Society Organisations( CSO), entrepreneurs, government leaders, local government leaders, mobile phone services agents, TCRA officials, Post Office Headquarters officials, mobile phone companies officials and religious leaders.

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