Indotel is working with three main ideas for greater telecommunications development
SANTO DOMINGO. The head of the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (Indotel), Gedeon Santos, revealed that this institution has set out to work on three main ideas: regulation, connectivity and digital inclusion, with the aim of rescuing the investment and the quality of telecommunications, since the balance of these two components has gone down a great deal in the last few years.
The official reported that, in the practice, real connectivity of the Internet is about 25% of the global level, including the intermittents (pre-paid) and those that have fixed lines, and that only 14% of Dominican homes are connected.
In addition he indicated that in the area of connectivity, there are 32% of dark zones, where there are no fiber optics because it is not feasible for the companies, but this also responds to the dynamics of the national development itself.
“In the area of regulation, as I said at the beginning, we have lost quality, our investment has fallen, and we need to rescue both things,” said the official after indicating that his institution intends to create 30 centers in the provincial capitals, over the next few months, the same kind that the entity has, which will be converted into spaces of multiple services, where it the first will be attention to the client.
“Any Dominican that has a complaint with any telecommunications company can go there and file his complaint, Indotel will serve as a mediator between the companies and the clients, and in the last resort we have other collegiate bodies that can hand down sentences regarding who is right or not. But in principle what I would like to do is for the issues to be solved through mediation,” he said.
With respect to connectivity, he said that the plan consists of the program “Connected Homes,” which includes a digital combination, which consists of offering homes an Internet connection, a computer and digital education.
He made it clear that the families that go into the program have to become completely educated, and they will receive a certificate that says that now they can use computer programs and then they will deliver the equipment, which will not be given away, but rather financed long-term with accessible quotas.
In addition, the digital combination also includes the Mipymes, which are going to receive the same equipment, but with the difference that in the education they are going to be taught how to open a webpage, how to relate themselves with the courier companies and how to open accounts of Internet banking like paper and any other.
Regarding inclusion, Santos said that in the previous administration in Indotel they were creating technological centers and placing Wi-Fi antennas, but this resulted in that lately the spaces where the people with scarce resources would go are now being used for chats and to watch movies, so that they are not being used properly or to good advantage, while the wireless Internet signal was used by the same persons of the middle class that had the service in their homes.
In this sense, he said that Indotel is now focusing on the Mipymes and homes and “Connected Mipymes”. He said that among the plans of the institution there is also a large call center in the capital, where they would receive the complaints of the people.
In addition, Indotel is seeking the cooperation of Chile in order to develop a computer program to attend the customers who could then report complaints by using their cell phones.
“This is to say that they don’t even have to go and call, but rather they can use a little application, you write what you want to say, then this arrives at the (call) central and from there it is given attention and follow-up,” he explained.
Santos said that they are trying to get the customers to have different access for complaints and the solution.
They are acquiring equipment to certify Internet service
The Indotel president, Gedeon Santos, reported that the institution is acquiring some equipment to measure the quality in order to certify, via the process of verification, that the company is really giving the amount of megas that it is offering for its Internet service.
“When a telecommunications company offers, for example four megas of Internet speed, but really what it’s giving is a mega, how do we know?”, The official asked, after justifying the need of the measuring equipment.
“In order to achieve a quality such as we had in the decade of the 90s, when it was an issue of national pride to be able to say: “we have the best communication of Latin America.” In fact, one would travel to Central America, South America and when we talked we could say: “how good it is that our communication doesn’t have so many problems like these countries,” but now it is not exactly like that,” the official pointed out.
Indotel calls for the 1% that they took away in the budget
In 2012 they took away half of the budget of Indotel, which at that time was the 2% tax that was charged in the country for all telecommunications services.
According to what Gedeon Santos pointed out, in order for this institution to be able to carry out completely the development plan is that it has ready to go, it requires that Indotel be returned the 1% that was removed in the last year of the government of former President Leonel Fernandez.
“What we are asking for is that this one percent be returned to Indotel in order for us to be able to carry out these policies which as you can see look logical, and correct for re-launch. This one percent represents RD $750 million, approximately, which is a considerable sum for us to be able to connect those homes,” he pointed out.
He said that his entity is working on a digital combo for poor homes that requires resources and without the resources they cannot do practically anything.
Category: DR News |