[ga] ITU & The great African internet robbery
Africa is being ripped off - to the tune of some $500m a year - simply for
hooking up to the World Wide Web, say Kenyan internet company chiefs.
According to Kenya's Internet Service Providers (ISP) Association, the
continent is being forced by Western companies to pay the full cost of
connecting to worldwide networks.
Chairman Richard Bell says this has led to the unfair exploitation of the
continent's young internet industry. He says the problem is that
International Telecommunications Union regulations - which ensures the costs
of telephone calls between Africa and the West are split 50:50 - are not
being enforced with regard to the internet.
"British Telecom doesn't spend one single penny... America Online doesn't
spend one single cent in sending emails to Africa." The total cost of any
email sent or received by an African internet user is borne entirely by
African ISPs, Mr Bell said on the BBC African service programme Talkabout
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