The Ghanaian communications regulator fined five Ghanaian telecom companies a total of 1.2 million GHC today for providing poor quality services, a move sure to be popular with pretty much everyone, since people in Ghana love their phones and hate all the phone companies. 

To give you an example of what poor services means, I haven't been able to call or text anyone on MTN, or receive calls, since I arrived in Sunyani yesterday-- and it was like that all over Brong Ahafo when I left last week.  This isn't some village in the mountains-- Sunyani is a district capital.

The fines were based on failure to provide coverage, geographically and temporally. The highest fine went to Airtel, which has actually provided pretty reliable services for my internet modem, including the hookup to write this article.

In my opinion, the highest fine should have gone to Vodafone, for their atrocious service. Vodafone is the only provider of cable internet in Tamale, and has the only nice, reliable internet cafe. When home and business internet lines go down, they never come fix them, despite repeated calls requesting they do so. Why should they? They can keep charging the monthly rate, plus get additional income when people are forced to go to the internet cafe. This is why natural monopolies must be regulated.