Tanzania cuts right-of-way fees in major boost for operators

Tanzania cuts right-of-way fees in major boost for operators

There has been a significant boost for Tanzanian operators with the government’s decision, announced late last week, to slash the country’s telecommunications right-of-way (RoW) fee from US$1,000 per kilometre to only US$200 per kilometre.

Generally such a fee relates to the right to pass over or through real property owned by someone, else although the cost and beneficiaries of RoW differ from country to country. In this case the Tanzania Daily news reports, the term refers to charges levied on telecommunication companies by the government for utilising road-reserved land under the management of Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) to install vital infrastructure such as fibre optic cables.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Dr Jabiri Bakari has been quoted as saying he is optimistic that cutting of RoW prices will substantially reduce communication service costs and accelerate the expansion of high-speed broadband networks.

Remote coverage, especially by internet service providers (ISPs) should be more economically viable too. In fact the TCRA evidently hopes that more businesses, schools, healthcare facilities and individuals will be able to access online services thanks to this decision.

RoW prices are a tricky issue for some countries, not least because they can be seen as an additional source of revenue for those benefiting from them. For example, in India, as recently as 2020 some states were ignoring government rules dating back to 201, adding to the restrictions on placement of infrastructure and insisting on much higher fees be paid to the state government for rights of way. However, with 5G on the way, the Indian government has amended the rules to ensure faster rollout. It has also launched a portal that is intended to act as a single-window clearance for tracking the status of right of way applications.

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.