(Ecofin Agency) - In Algeria, the education ministry instructed mobile operators Djezzy, Mobilis, and Ooredoo to restrict Internet access across the national territory during the baccalaureate exams which took place last September 13-17. The objective was to avoid cheating among students.
This measure, considered effective by the authorities, was, however, highly criticized by consumers who denounced an obstacle to their freedom to communicate and to their economic activities. For ICT players, the government's decision has also had a negative financial impact on the Internet segment.
Younes Grar, CEO of Gecos, estimated the financial loss recorded by the Internet segment during the period reviewed at 50 billion dinars ($388 million). For Ali Kahlane, a consultant in digital transformation and maturation and also vice-president of the Cercle d'action et de réflexion autour de l'entreprise (Care), the financial losses were close to 26 billion dinars. Youcef Boucherim (pictured), an international ICT expert, also said losses are valued at 15 billion dinars.
Algerian consumers called on the government to find another way to secure the school exam. They say the installation of scramblers in examination centers is one such solution.