Algeria has passed a new telecoms law that will introduce widespread monitoring of international phone calls and allow private companies access to the country’s nationalised communications market.
Headed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Council of Ministers voted in favour of the “local-loop unbundling” process which allows other operators to access the national telecommunications exchange.
New internet providers will also be permitted, under the new law, to have access in a market traditionally lead by Algeria Telecom which will have further powers to transfer and monitor all international phone calls.
“As part of the development of electronic communications, it has been proposed to implement the principle of local-loop unbundling,” the presidency stated in a statement released on Wednesday.
A draft copy of the new communications law was first published by ALG24 on 17 December with added details later unlikely to amend much of the draft.
The council voted to “strengthen the authority of the post and electronic communications regulator” through a new Radio Frequency Management Agency which will monitor communications.
Bouteflika has also called for further developments of online services and electronic communications especially in speeding up internet connections which are usually very slow.
Only 2.5 per cent of Algerians have access to broadband speeds exceeding four megabytes per second; in comparison the average global internet speed is 5.6 megabytes per second, according to American internet consultancy group, Akamai.
By Staff reporter