Prime Minister Hun Sen considers exclusive internet provision contracts in the Kingdom’s gated communities, known locally as borey, as being contrary to the spirit of fair competition and declares them invalid. He urged all relevant parties to resolve the monopolies.
Presiding over the August 17 graduation ceremony for students of the University of Puthisastra, the premier said property developers must ensure that their borey residents have access to internet and telephone services and that it is not exclusive to any single provider.
“The government will not recognise such contracts. People have spent tens of thousands of dollars on houses in these communities, but are unable to access internet services because of a contract which was never approved by any ministry. Borey owners and internet providers cannot make these agreements,” he said.
The prime minister urged the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications – as well as telecoms operators – to speed up the installation of antennas so as to restore people’s communications.
“It is necessary to accelerate the installations of antenna from as many providers as possible, so the residents will have choices. We encourage competition because it leads to the best possible outcomes for our people. Ultimately, the ones who lose out are students, the future of the Kingdom. If they cannot study now, how will they lead in the future?” he asked.
“I often have difficulty communicating with some of my officials who live in boreys. Despite the Kingdom having four main providers, coverage is often limited in places where one has been given preference over the other three,” he added.
He said mobile internet service is essential as Cambodia is closer than ever to its Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, goals.
He also demanded that officials stay abreast of IT developments. “I have said many times that we will not appoint officials who are not IT literate,” he said.
Telecoms ministry spokesman Liv Sophanarith told The Post that eight working groups are working on the specific issue of speeding up antenna construction.
“We are working with 60 boreys. Some are making rapid progress, with almost 20 antenna installed already. Others are nor progressing as quickly,” he said.
In addition to the antennas, he said fibre optic cable is a good option though it is far more complex to install.
“It takes a long time to install fibre optic cable, as distance to the nearest hub is often hundreds of kilometres. Once in place, the cables need testing. Soon, however, we see faster installation,” he said.
Back on August 4, at the premier’s behest, telecoms minister Chea Vandeth announced the cancellation of all exclusive rights contracts between borey developers and internet service providers.