Warning Issued to Landlords Charging Residents for Internet

Rogue borey and condominium owners who continue to flout the law by demanding money from residents for internet access will face prosecution, authorities warn
People use phones in a bus in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
People use phones in a bus in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications will take action against the owners of boreys and condominiums who demand money to allow internet access to residents’ homes.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (PTC) on November 14, a team has been tasked with improving the quality of services in boreys in Phnom Penh. It found eight groups have improved the quality of telecommunications services in boreys and condominiums.

It also received information on a number of barriers that make it difficult to connect to the internet in boreys and some condominiums.

The statement added that the ministry has ordered the owners of some boreys and condominiums to immediately stop demanding money in exchange for allowing internet access to the homes of consumers, which is contrary to the law on telecommunications.

“In case a small number of borey and condominium owners continue to do action, PTC will take strict action in accordance with the telecommunications law and the legal documents in force,” the statement added.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA), said that demanding money has increased recently, due to there being no allocated authority to deal with the issue.

He added that the average family pays $12 to $20 a month for internet services. However, in cases where money is demanded, the internet service fee is only $12. Families pay $12 and borey and condominium management companies suppresses another $2, so each family has to spend $14, for example.

“What the people want is quality and cheap [fees], but competition today seems to be blocking this. People’s interest seems to be lost because there are some groups of people, or some owners of boreys and condominiums, taking advantage of consumers. We haven't focused on the irregularity of the management of some boreys yet,” Chey said.