Poor digital structure hinders high-quality digital service

The Director General of National Communication Authority Eng. Adok Napoleon speaking to the media during the training on digital right and inclusion forum 2022. Photo: Adia Jildo

By Adia Jildo

The Director General of National Communication Authority Eng. Adok Napoleon said that the cause of the high cost of digital service in South Sudan is because of failure of the government to invest in infrastructure for digital management.

Eng. Adok made the statement during a consultative training on digital rights and inclusion forum 2022.

He stated that South Sudan tends to suffer optical-fiber blackout if the supplying countries have optical -fibre problems which is a big challenge to the country.

“Whatever bundles you are using is being imported. It’s not from our country. We are now working hard to put in place our connectivity so that internet cost must come down and as long as the infrastructure is taking place, you will have to survive the digital portal through your pockets,” he said.

Adok said that besides importation of the optical-fibre cable, challenges such as poor road network and coordination between fibre infrastructures affects the provision of speed and good service.

He said that some companies were not laying the optical-fibre cable according to the internet.

He said that holding companies accountable for failure to provide good service would require machineries that would detect the faults in service provisions.

“We are supposed to have in place a mechanism to monitor the charges which should not be more or less charges. The government has not done a correct investment so that we monitor the compliance with the laws that we published,” he said.

Adok however said that the government is now incentivizing and encouraging investors to deploy a second route from Nadapal through Kapeota to Juba which could provide the internet fiber with an alternative.

Adok proposed that the e-tax be promoted in the towns other than solely relying on taxing other goods and services for instance at the country borders.

He called on the government to allocate funds that would be used to purchase machineries to enable a monitoring capacity for companies over charging the locals accountable.

“We need the tool to monitor and impose laws. Without the tools and laws, it will tantamount to extortion of service providers. Government does not have the visibility of all the service they are provided,” he said.

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