Gambia’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has moved to clarify its position on VoIP services such as Skype and Viber. The watchdog stated that the services themselves are allowed, but that companies and/or individuals operating through internet cafes are not authorised to offer international and national calling services on a commercial basis using VoIP.
This follows a Press release in April which said that voip calls and internet dating banned. The Government came out shortly after and issued a statement calling on its citizens to continue to enjoy Skype to reach their loved ones at home and abroad.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure had described the claim as a complete misconstruction of the press release communicated by PURA in the regulator’s bid to stop the massive loss of revenue to registered internet suppliers by the criminal unscrupulous individuals who use and Internet cafes that charge the unwitting public for international calls.
Individuals can continue to use Skype or Viber on their personal devises in the enjoyment of the Gambia’s full integration into the ICT culture. The regulator and other concerned units of government are investigating these individuals and Internet cafe owners in order to put in place measures to protect our young users from entrapments of online dating services which leave our vulnerable citizens to pornographic sites, paedophilia, child-trafficking and sex tourism.
Information from Telegeography was used in this article.