Presentation on theme: "MS. PREMILA KUMAR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CONSUMER COUNCIL OF FIJI."— Presentation transcript:
MS. PREMILA KUMAR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CONSUMER COUNCIL OF FIJI
Broadband accessibility in the South Pacific Challenges faced by the Consumer Council of Fiji in protecting the rights of broadband users Policy response to ensure consumer rights are better protected
Geographical isolation Small scattered islands Small population Weak economies Lack of basic infrastructure
2012 World Bank Report - Kiribati has the highest internet rates in the world - US$500 a month and US$400 installation fee for a 512kbps connection.
Optic Fibre Southern Cross Cable Network Deregulated international telecom gateway services Deregulation – upsurge in mobile internet accessibility
Right to information on new services and technical advice on devices; Right to pay for services that is delivered ( payment should match services delivered); Right to privacy; Right to complain; Right to make a choice; and Right to affordable services
Low consumer ICT literacy Laws and regulations are not current to capture issues such as internet fraud, hacking, SPAM, etc. Government has shareholding interest or owns the ISP Ineffective redress mechanism. Poor access to broadband services
Used Media to put pressure on Connect Lodged formal complaint with Fiji Commerce Commission (FCC) Fiji Commerce Commission chaired a meeting between Connect and the Consumer Council No charges were laid by FCC
reliance on internet services has become just as essential as water and electricity and this service must be affordable. Connect against Government’s National Broadband Policy which states that “broadband services shall be accessible to all Fijians and Fijian communities, and that access includes “availability, affordability and capacity to use”.
Old Rate $35.78 for the 256/128k and received 5GB data cap Old Rate $35.78 for the 256/128k and received 5GB data cap Proposed New Rate $35 for 1GB data cap with a new speed of 1MB Proposed New Rate $35 for 1GB data cap with a new speed of 1MB Final Outcome CONNECT offered 5GB data cap instead of 1GB at high speed for $35 Final Outcome CONNECT offered 5GB data cap instead of 1GB at high speed for $35
Speeds are not guaranteed and varies depending on your location or condition of the lines
Why Connect informed its customers that if they did not convert to the new rates by 30 March 2012, subscribers will automatically be converted to a new plan and customers’ Connect s addresses will be taken away?
Why expensive unused data reloads which consumers buy could not be carried forward?
ISP redrafted a new contract, Offered 5GB data cap instead of 1GB at high speed; and Allowed consumers to carry forward reloads for next 30 days.
Broadband policies not only from supplier side of the market but also from consumer demand side Introduce legislation on Unfair Contract Terms and other additional laws to deal with spaming, privacy, fraud, cyber crime, and e- commerce
Policy on improving ICT literacy Set up ICT Ombudsman
Prohibition of fine print disclaimers and requirement for plain language contracts; Allow consumers to conveniently switch between suppliers; Provide, complete, comparable, appropriate and accurate information to consumers through different channels