KABUL: Joint press conference of Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, ATRA and representatives of telecom companies held at the Government Media and Information Center on Sunday to raise awareness about the coronavirus, how to provide online education for students and reduce the cost of the Internet.
Omar Mansour Ansari, Director of Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) said: “In cooperation with telecom companies, the Ministry of Public Health messages are sent to the users regularly since past two weeks.
He said discussions on the mechanism to provide online access to the study materials to students, have been ongoing for several weeks in coordination with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Education, National Statistic and Information Authority, and Telecom Companies.
Meanwhile, Fahim Hashemi, Acting Minister of Communications and IT, said the government’s policy was to improve the quality of Internet services, but added that more time is needed to implement the policy.
He said that under the instruction of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the ministry had finalized a new agreement in cooperation with the ATRA and telecom companies so that people could get bigger internet packages at a lower price.
Hashemi said that in a situation where the world and Afghanistan are facing the pandemic coronavirus and the use of the Internet has increased due to the quarantine of cities, it seems unlikely to improve the quality of the Internet.
However, he assured that the Ministry of Communications, ATRA and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan pay special attention to providing study materials to students, and the public via the Internet, and much effort has been made so far.
At the conference, representatives of telecom companies said that in addition to sharing the Ministry of Public Health’s health messages with users, they would also provide facilities for students to have access to study materials through free internet and reduce the cost of Internet packages.
The representative of Afghan Wireless Company said that the company has increased its internet packages by 50% and from Monday (today), users can get the packages with more than 30% discount. He cited the example of a monthly package of 1GB that used to be offered for 200 AFN, after which users could get 2.3 GB internet for the same price.
Representative of Etisalat company also said that the company’s Internet packages had doubled, and users could get up to 8GB with the same money they pay for 4GB.
The representative of Salam Company also pointed out that the price of the company’s internet packages is cheap compared to other companies, adding that the company’s users in Herat and Nimroz provinces can find internet packages with double capacity. He said the company’s service coverage capacity would soon increase by another 50 percent.
Representatives of Roshan and MTN Companies also pledged to continue their efforts to convey the Ministry of Health’s health messages to their users, emphasizing that they will put efforts to facilitate online study material to students for free, as well as facilitating the provision of telecom and Internet services.
The Kabul Times