BOCRA decries poor internet in hospitality sector

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An investigation by the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has revealed that hospitality facilities across the country do not subscribe to sufficient bandwidth, which leads to poor quality of Internet services.

The regulator stated that it carried out investigations, which covered more than 60 facilities, on the availability and quality of Internet services in the hospitality industry in Botswana after receiving numerous complaints regarding the issue. The exercise covered hotels, lodges and guesthouses.

In its 2014 annual report, BOCRA said the investigations revealed that the poor service in the hospitality industry was also due to the lack of “last mile” connectivity in some areas.

“Last mile” connectivity relates to the final leg of delivering data access from a communications provider to a customer.

“We have started developing guidelines on minimum requirements for Internet connectivity in hospitality facilities, which would among others set minimum standards for the Internet connectivity in the industry,” BOCRA officials said in the report.

The guidelines are expected to provide guidance for the quality of Internet services and minimum bandwith requirements to be adopted by both the hospitality facilities and service providers. The guidelines are expected to take effect this financial year.

In his commentary in the annual report, BOCRA chief executive, Thari Pheko said the Authority has developed a five-year strategic plan guided by the Communications Regulatory Authority Act, which focuses on improving customer satisfaction.

“The plan will thus focus BOCRA’s processes and efforts towards ensuring that there is improved quality of service, enhanced consumer protection and satisfaction, affordable prices in a competitive market that fosters and increases access and usage within the regulated sectors,” he said.

The strategic plan draft is expected to be approved in the 2015/16 financial year.

Meanwhile, the report indicates a phenomenal growth of mobile telephony subscriptions of more than 100 percent since 2009.

According to the annual report, during the 2013/14 financial year, mobile subscriptions jumped four percent growth increase to 3.2 million.

Access to the Internet has also spread primarily via smart phones with an estimated 43 percent mobile internet penetration rate for the year ended March 31, 2014.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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