It is time to put an end to the monopoly in the internet service market, Economy Minister Giorgi Arveladze said on July 30.
Three major internet providers – Sanet, Georgia Online and Caucasus Net – merged last year to create a near monopoly, with 90% of the market.
Arveladze has also lashed out at the quality of service provided in Georgia. He said poor quality was inconsistent with the high prices charged by the providers. This amounts to “robbery,” he said.
Internet service is a growing market in Georgia, according to the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC).
Turn-over for internet service providers was GEL 26.15 million (USD 15.5 million) in 2006, up from GEL 19.8 million (USD 11 million) in 2005. The GNCC also reported an 81% increase in the number of internet users in Georgia, with 27,700 ADSL users registered last year.
The GNCC recently issued three licenses for the operation of WiMAX service – a technology enabling the delivery of wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL.