Azaz’s local council provides affordable Internet service
Enab Baladi – Azaz
On 25 July, the Azaz local council in Aleppo’s northern countryside announced on Facebook that it offered high-speed internet access for the city’s residents at low prices by introducing ADSL and VDSL internet services.
Domestic investors and multiple telecommunications companies provide internet services in the northern countryside of Aleppo at different prices and packages. However, many consumers said that they are frustrated with high costs and slow internet speeds.
High-speed internet access with low costs
According to the Facebook post, Hawa Net offers VDSL Broadband services, which use the terrestrial copper telecommunication cables of a handline phone network to offer reliable high-speed internet packages.
The Syrian Interim Government’s Hawa Net, which is operating in the region, relies in its mechanism on transmitters and receivers on both sides of the border. And once the radio waves of transmitted signals reach the receivers on the Syrian side of the border, optical internet packets are supplied to cables and networks.
The services department of Azaz’s local council told Enab Baladi that its new internet service prices are much less than prices set by private internet service providers because prices have been set at the minimum profit margin of the council.
Internet packages cost between 35 Turkish Lira (TL-1 USD=8,5 TL) per 1 megabyte and 150 TL per 20 megabytes.
Azaz residents can benefit from the new internet service via telephone landlines or air receivers at the same price and quality of service, according to the council’s services department.
Monitoring should be activated
Khaled al-Ali, a resident of Azaz city, told Enab Baladi that the new internet service of the local council would hopefully create competition among all the investors of the internet service providers in the area, leading to lower prices for their internet services.
He told Enab Baladi that the internet service is very poor, not to mention its high prices. This happens because of the greed of domestic investors and internet service providers.
Some internet service providers in the region claim that they are selling a 15-megabyte package to users while, in fact, it is an internet package of only 10 megabytes to make more profits, taking advantage of the absence of telecommunications regulatory authorities. In addition to that, there are no real competitors that force them to improve the service and reduce prices.
Ahmed Quraan, a resident of the city, considered that the prices of the packages launched by the local council are high compared to the residents’ monthly income.
Quraan called on the council to establish a telecommunications regulatory and inspection authority to monitor prices in the city, experiencing rising prices. He added that the cost of living in rural Aleppo equals or exceeds the costs of living in Istanbul and that incomes are extremely low in the region.
The cities and towns of the northern countryside of Aleppo, primarily Azaz, got access to the 4G internet service for the first time four years ago after local communication networks were damaged and most of the towers were destroyed.
Last year, the Azaz Local Council called on Internet service providers and companies in the region to obtain the necessary licenses to regulate the work of telecommunications companies, taking into account security necessities.
Aleppo countryside people rely mainly on Turkish networks that extend into the Syrian borders, most notably Turkcell, Avea and Vodafone, as one of the services Turkey providers in the region after the Syrian opposition factions took control of it with Turkish support.
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