TRA pushes Batelco on lower broadband prices

Bahrain regulator issues draft order to operator in bid to reduce costs to customer.

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By  Andy Sambidge Published  April 1, 2009

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Wednesday issued a draft order to Batelco in a effort to cut the cost of brandband in the kingdom.

The TRA's move paves the way for Batelco to reduce its retail prices and introduce new higher speed services, the regulator said in a statement.

Alan Horne, TRA general director said: "TRA remains determined to ensure that broadband prices in Bahrain are reduced to be more in line with the prices for similar services offered through out the region and to ensure there are no further delays in making available higher internet speeds at competitive prices on fair and reasonable terms.

"We are also determined to ensure that fair and sustainable competition develops which in turn will ensure that consumers have choice at competitive rates."

TRA has indicated that even with the current proposed retail prices from Batelco, their broadband prices remain higher than the Arab average.

Horne added: "TRA is disappointed we have had to resort to using regulatory orders to ensure that Batelco fulfils its regulatory duties and stop Batelco from delaying and distorting the development of competition in this market.

"By issuing this draft order, TRA has compelled Batelco to fulfil the conditions TRA placed on the approval of Batelco's request to reduce retail prices and launch higher speed retail services".

Batelco has 30 days to comment on the draft document before TRA issues the Final Order which is expected to be before the end of May.

3705 days ago

Etisalat broadband was AED 349/ month for 3MB download speed till 2 months ago when I realised its now 349 for 2MB. A 30 % increase in cost without any notice. Surely a contract should be respected.

3706 days ago
Sanjeev Vijayan

I wonder when UAE will reduce their broadband prices. Its very expensive and I am always find the service slow, whether I am at home, work, friends, cafes, etc. Sigh.

3707 days ago

Bahrain is more business focused as we know, but surely the TRA in the UAE can see that internet usage by consumers and businesses is critical to developing a modern, dynamic economy? Yet still UAE consumers are stuck with prices fixed at 5 or 6 times those paid in other developed or developing countries, as well as economic blocking of certain services such as IP telephony. The TRA seems to focus on short term profit instead of long term development of the UAE economy. The country is probably ten years behind much of Europe in terms of online business, and the high prices of internet connectivity is largely responsible.

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