On June 4th, the Commerce Commission released its report titled PRICE AND ACCESS DETERMINATION FOR SOUTHERN CROSS CAPACITY AND NETWORK. You can access the full report on the Commision’s website and it’s also provided for download here.
Effective a year from now, it will cost $360/mbps, a dramatic reduction from the extremely high rates currently offered by FINTEL.
This should be the boost that is required to increase broadband connectivity rates in Fiji. The Commission should be lauded for taking a proactive step in remedying an issue fundamental to increasing competition and establishing fair pricing.
The report includes discussion of many aspects, including details of pricing and terms that potential new ISPs can expect from FINTEL.
The commission falls short of setting prices at the retail level, saying only that retail price drops are expected to be in line with this lowering of wholesale rates.
This appears to be a misstep, in my estimation. Fiji continues to reap rewards liberalisation of the telcoms sector. The commission should have established pricing for the lowest tier of service, demanding ISPs offer a basic package costing about $10 a month.
Increasingly, experts feel increasing broadband usage rates is determined by offering service at about 2% of users’ monthly income. In Fiji, where many live on $100 a week, a basic package for email and web-surfing at about $10 a month, should be outlined as a policy objective.
Still, great news and a sign of even greater change coming down the pipeline.