Exclusive Contracts Between Boreys and Internet Service Providers Banned

Authorities have revealed plans to ban exclusive contracts enjoyed by internet service providers in the capital’s boreys in a bid to remove the monopoly and encourage a competitive market for customers.
People use phones in a bus in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
People use phones in a bus in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) Chea Vandeth said on Thursday that authorities will cancel contracts used by more than 100 Phnom Penh boreys that provide exclusive access to Internet Service Providers (ISP).

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the cancellation of any contract that gives internet providers exclusive access in boreys for telephone and internet services, Vandeth announced during a press conference on Thursday at the Office of the Council of Ministers.

Vandeth said the ministry set up working groups to collect data on boreys, which found there are more than 100 boreys in Phnom Penh, many of which have exclusive rights with ISPs. This makes consumption difficult because users have no choice.

MPTC set up eight working groups to improve the quality of telecommunications services in the capital’s boreys. The ministry requested the cooperation of borey owners to improve the quality of services by eliminating ​exclusive provider access as it impacts people’s choice by removing competition between operators, according to the ministry’s statement.

"We have divided into eight teams to test the mobile service in 60 Boreys and the remaining 40 Boreys in the second phase," Vandeth said.

Chhun Samnang, 38, is a resident at Borey Peng Huoth in Phnom Penh. He said the cancellation of this monopoly over business will benefit residents.

“For me as a user, it is good. We have more choices because now that I live in Borey, I can only use one ISP. So, when the Internet is down, it is done. [I have] no other choice. Whether I’m dissatisfied or not, whether it’s expensive or not, I must use it,” Samnang told Kiripost.

“So, if we have another internet company to back it up, it would be great too,” he added.

To enter or expand into the residential market, an ISP usually partners with a borey to offer exclusive services to end customers.