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Govt must reform Net access, researcher says

THE government must facilitate access to international bandwidth, provide a transparent and stable regulatory system and develop a framework for national traffic management to help drive down broadband prices, a telecoms researcher said Thursday.

Mathieu Finzi, who has been working on a study of Cambodia’s information and communications technology sector for technology educator Centre for Information Systems Training (CIST), said high Internet costs and low quality were an obstacle to Internet penetration.

“You cannot have a competitive ICT market without competitive broadband prices, and the same goes for the whole economy,” he said.
“The government needs to prioritise [access to international bandwidth] to help the [Internet service providers] offer competitive prices.”

Cambodia currently relies on bandwidth provided by neighbouring countries, a factor that Finzi said drives costs up and quality down.

“The government must ensure autonomy though a national landing point, diversify upstream providers [of bandwidth] and introduce competition for wholesale prices,” Finzi said.

He noted that prices had come down over the past year, and expected them to drop further when local wholesaler Telcotech switched on its connection to the newly completed Asia America Gateway (AAG), an undersea cable connecting the region to the United States.

Finzi also called for the establishment of a national Internet Exchange Point (IXP) to manage national traffic and allow ISPs to connect without going through international exchanges.

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