battling the poor co.
When it comes to acting with complete disregard for the poor, this country is truly world-class. Government and big business alike have so fantastic apathy to the misery of the working poor, they live in a green zone –a la Baghdadi- of their own.
Batelco is a prime example of that. This is the company that used to tout a “laptop+internet” bundle as costing nothing more than mere low “BD50 only” per month. Talk about a devalued Dinar. The company that charged BD 40 for 256 k line, month in and month out, in a country where 60% of its private sector employees – citizen- earn less than BD200 per month. And if you prefer the blender average of the public and private sectors, it is BD 325 for all, which is still lower than the poverty line of BD339 per family of 4. How would my neighbour, with BD180 per month salary and three other mouths to feed afford the BD 40 for an ADSL line? Or Would Batelco be content to just leave his kids of 8 and 6 with no access to the world web for life?
Well, the ingenuity of this land manifested itself in a unique collective answer. People formed their own sharenets. Each household would pay from BD5 to BD10 depending on the no of shared lines. And Batelco and others have the gall to call them “thiefnets”? They are no more thieves than the tens of millions of Americans and Europeans and Koreans who pay similar rates for a single line. And what would you do, if the only baker in town refuses to lower the price of your loaf of bread and prohibits you from sharing it with others as well?
And who is the thief here, Batelco Bahrain that will from now on charges me BD 480 per year for a line of advertised speed of 1 Mbps and an “enormous” threshold of 15GB, or Batelco Jordan which charges my former teacher in Amman for a line of same speed and 12GB threshold JD399 per year ( or the equivalent of BD 212 or BD 17.7 per month), or if he is only content with the 5GB threshold only JD299 per year or BD 13.3 per month?! Flexibilty ? you bet.
Economics clearly is not the reason here. Is it politics then? The wish and want to shut the Bahraini youth from using the whole world wide web as their anti-government graffiti world wide wall?