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Minister: ISPs deceiving consumers

2 Aug 2007

Georgia’s Minister of Economic Development, Giorgi Arveladze has criticised the prices charged by the country’s ISPs for narrowband consumer internet access. He stated that: ‘The internet service providers are deceiving consumers; subscribers are obliged to pay at least GEL45 (USD25.5) more for the low-speed [sic] internet. This shouldn’t happen in the 21st century. There are foreign companies which are planning to work on the local market with all rules observed. If the existing providers continue deceiving consumers, in the future they will be deprived of their business altogether.’ Arveladze added that the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) should act immediately to change the situation. According to recent local reports, there are 17 ISPs active in Georgia, but Caucasus Online holds about 90% of the market. Incumbent telco United Telecom of Georgia recently announced its own foray into the consumer retail market, sparking a protracted conflict with Caucasus Online over tariff charges. The two companies eventually signed an agreement brokered by Arveladze and the GNCC.

Georgia, Caucasus Online, SilkNet

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