I put on my phone some days back and received a short messaging service message; that is an sms or text message for those not in the know; from one of our acclaimed telecommunications service providers, telling me of this “wow” new deal they had just rolled out. This package would allow me to spend time connected to the internet at my own leisure at prices above the head of many Nigerians. The “wow” factor in it was, no longer did I have to stay awake to browse or make sure I did not exceed my data limit before the validity period expired. I read through the message again and shook my head.

You know it is funny how a company that can declare a profit after tax in the excess of billions of United States Dollars; more than that declared by four big Nigerian banks; can be comfortable providing a service that is not only exorbitant but unreliable.

You connect your modem to your system and it takes you fifty minutes to download a four megabyte file on a package that advertises “up to 7mbps download speed”. You pay for a weekend plan and during the weekends you realize that your service provider’s network is always in its slowest speed capacity from Friday to Monday, after you were assured of service “faster than you”. The one that strikes me as hilarious is; when connected to the network you suddenly notice that pages do not open but you dial-up interface tells you that you are connected and continues to count down on your data limit; God help you if you get angry and pull out your modem when your service provider did not offer a replacement in case of equipment failure.

It is discomforting to realize that not only are the telecommunications and internet service providers in Nigeria taking us for granted but they believe we cannot read.

It is therefore imperative that a sector which is a major cog in the wheel of development and progress in the wagon of our developing economy be overhauled and restructured. Our “everywhere you go” brothers should be made to go everywhere with no discrepancy in speed and connectivity, our “feel free” brothers should actually make us feel free and not constrained to pick devices that stop working after two months with replacement at our cost, and our “rule your world” brothers, should come down from their high horses and provide packages that a high school student can afford.

It is then and only then that they; our “brothers”; can come out and beat their chests in pride and say “we are giving back to the society”,  not when they distribute fifty “brand new”  cars to unsuspecting Nigerians.

 

Image from ink-spout.blogspot.com

 

This article was written by Paul Solomon

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