Saudi Arabia said to mull fees on Internet providers
Government committee reportedly examining proposals to charge ISPs
Internet service providers (ISPs) in Saudi Arabia could be hit with new charges on their operations under proposals being considered by the government.
According to reports from the kingdom, telecoms companies that provide internet services will face new charges, for example for licences and sales of mobile data, in addition to fees on pre-paid internet cards and hardware devices.
Arabic news website Maaal.com reported that the charges would only apply to telecoms companies that are not already subject to government imposed fees.
But other state-licensed telcos could be hit with fees on their revenue, from the provision of satellite services, prepaid cards, hardware sales and any revenue related to the delivery of ICT services.
An unnamed source was quoted as saying that the government has appointed experts from six government agencies to examine the proposals before recommendations are submitted to the Council of Ministers.
The departments involved in the study include Finance, Commerce, Justice, Communications and Information Technology, the General Auditing Bureau and the Telecommunications Authority.
Saudi Arabia's government is exploring new sources of revenue generation as oil prices remain low and the kingdom seeks to plug a deficit that reached almost $100 billion in 2015.