Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Breaking the monopolies 2

In an earlier post, I wrote in support of the government's decision to break the fish oligopoly in this country. The reason being that, such legislations are only in the interest of selected parties at the expense of the general public. Unfortunately, like everywhere in most of the world, Maldives fares no better at making sure that politicians are able to pick winners and losers.

Now its time to break the other duopolies in this country, ie the ISP and telecom providers. The two ISPs, namely Dhiraagu and ROL, provide poor and expensive packages (infact webhosting is 100 times more expensive as Dhivehi Observer noted). Everyone is well aware of the reduction in prices of Dhiraagu when Wataniya came into competition. We can still take a step further and allow complete competition in the marketplace for Internet and telecommunication service providers. Infact, this is how it should be in every industry. No artificial and restrictive barriers to entry should be placed (like some proposed in another industry). After all, we don't legislate how many construction companies, design firms, clothing shops, computer sellers, web development companies should be there. So why should it be any different for these services? Competition will enhance consumer choice and also reduce prices.

Upcoming startups does not necessarily have to provide universal coverage. Some might infact do. Others might specialise in niche markets or provide speciality services such as VoIP. The technological barrier to entry is quite low with dropping prices of server and network gear, and the abundance of numerous open-source software stacks which are available for free. Plus, the established providers may not innovate or explore the new emerging technologies in the areas of wireless communications, let alone the established technologies of webhosting.


axee said...

yeah true...lack of competition also means they can do what ever they want to the Clients.. if we want internet we hv t go to the only 02 available providers...such a shame....they even decieve the Clients by bogus marketting techniques..

they'l say 100mbps.....but we don even get half of that speed...when we complain they proudly reply that the the advertisement clearly says " UPTO 100mbps" so even if we get 1mbps they are still correct...how smart

I hope my upto 100mbps connection will give me enough to post this message

meekaaku said...

hmm.. just checking. where did you see 100mbps connection? isnt that your local area network connection?