Tuesday, 21 June 2016 06:10

DR Congo media blackout over new internet tariff

The country's official telecoms regulator says they had not approved the recent price hike.

Newspapers, radio and TV in the Democratic Republic of Congo have shut down to protest at a hike in internet prices.
The price hike soared by at least 35%, a situation the Press Union referred to as a breach of the people's right to access information.
The union had called for a "day of no press" but some broadcasters, including the national broadcaster, are still on air.
Civil society has expressed concern.
The call for a news blackout in DR Congo has been largely observed in Goma, the main city in the east, BBC Monitoring reports.
The National Union of the Congolese Press called for a "Lundi Sans Presse" (Monday Without Press).
Radio Pole FM and privately-owned Virunga Business Radio are off air, though earlier in the morning the latter was carrying a relay of Radio France Internationale's news broadcast.
Tayna Community Radio and Television has only been playing music while the UN-sponsored Radio Okapi did not follow the call.
The BBC's Maud Jullien reports that the blackout comes after concerns about restrictions to press freedom ahead of elections in November.
The telecoms regulator has since called on mobile operators to reduce their prices, saying the move had violated regulations.
In an interview with Radio Okapi, government spokesman Lambert Mende said mobile service providers had raised the internet charges independently, and were not influenced by the government.

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