The easy availability of hand held devices including smartphones and cheap laptop computers have negatively affected the operations of many internet service providers, ISPs, while some have actually closed down due to low patronage.
Other factors militating against the cafes are the high taxes, exorbitant utility bills and low patronage, investigations conducted by this paper has revealed.
Many ISPs been unable to pay staff salaries and reneged on their statutory tax obligations to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) while workers’ contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) are pending.
According to Amit Guar, managing director of Busy Internet, an ISP, the competition is now between the service providers and mobile telecommunication networks like MTN, Vodafone and Airtel-Tigo delivering some services to their customers using advanced systems using state of the art technology.
This, he said makes it difficult for the ISPs to compete in the market and for them to do that will involve new investor funds which will be used to upgrade their systems and compete favorably in the market against the telecommunication companies who are deploying wireless and broadband services.
The ISP which in its early days in the mid-2000s served both as an internet café which in addition provided business incubators for upcoming business ventures with entrepreneurial ideas and visions.
By Adu Koranteng