Inadequate access to telecom services irks inhabitants
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of northern Kunduz province complainfrequent insurgents attacks have curtailed their access to telephone services. They want the government to stop collecting a10 percent of tax from mobile phone users.
The Taliban have warned the telecommunications companies to switch off their services at night, so they could not be chased by security forces. As a result, Kunduz people have no access to telephone from 5pm till dawn.
The companies that provide telecom services in Kunduz include Roshan, Etisalat, Afghan Wireless and MTN. Residents blame the provincial administration for failing to resolve their problem despite repeated demands and complaints.
Mohammad Azim, a resident of Kunduz City, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Telecom companies are responsible for offeringround-the-clock services. The firms charge a 10 percent of tax from mobile users but don’t care about their performance.”
He claims the companies are currently providing only 11 hours services on the outskirts of the provincial capitals. Azim, who also runs a shop in Kunduz City, says: “Security situation is not good.
“We hear frequently of militant-linked violence in the city but cannot contact our friends and family to ask about their situation,” the man adds. Although the telecom firms have been assured of security, they are yet to improve their services.
However, telecom officials argue they have to abide by orders from theirhead offices in Kabul.
Mohammad Yasin, another resident of the city,grumbles telephone service disruptions have created problems for the people in contacting hospitals to inquire after patients and informing relatives about important matters.
“My wife was sick last night and there was no taxi in my area. I tried to call a driver I know but, unfortunately, he could not be contacted,” the man regrets. Later, he found a rickshaw after waiting for long time to evacuate his wife to hospital.
Acting Governor Hamdullah Danishi says the militants have warned telecom service providers to keep their antennas off at night; otherwise the boosters will be destroyed.
“The value of telecom antennas is very high and if they are destroyed, the companies suffer huge losses. Therefore, their services are switched off in the evening to avoid losses,” he explains.
However, Danishi promises the problem will be solved after a clearing operation in the province in the near future. He also instructs the telecommunications and information technology director to talk to representatives of telecom companies on the issue.
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