In 2011, system described as sparse open-wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relays; telephone density one of the lowest in the world; fixed-line connections stand at well less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage is increasing but remains at roughly 20 per 100 persons;
In 2010, system described as “primitive” with “one of the lowest” telephone densities in the world and “increasing … but meager” use of cell phones; the number of fixed-line telephone connections was far fewer than one per every 100 persons; roughly five cell phones in use per 100 persons; the domestic telephone system consists of open-wire, radiotelephone communications, along with low capacity microwave radio relay.
17,400 lines in use, 193rd in the world (2012);
30,400 lines in use, 178th in the world (2008), a decrease from 2006;
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Operating in a turbulent political climate, Burundi's media are subject to occasional government censorship and may practice self-censorship.
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights. The law prohibits the media from spreading "hate" messages or from using abusive or defamatory language against public servants acting in their official role that could damage the dignity of or respect for the public office. Libel laws prohibit the public distribution of information that exposes a person to "public contempt" and carry penalties of prison terms and fines. The crime of treason, which includes knowingly demoralizing the military or the nation in a manner that endangers national defense during a time of war, carries a criminal penalty of life imprisonment. It is a crime for anyone knowingly to disseminate or publicize false rumors likely to alarm or excite the public against the government or to promote civil war. It is illegal for anyone to display drawings, posters, photographs, or other items that may disturb the public peace. Penalties range from two months' to three years' imprisonment and fines. Some journalists, lawyers, and political party, civil society, and NGO leaders allege the government uses these laws to intimidate and harass them.
The constitution and law provide for the right to privacy, but the government does not always respect this right in practice. Authorities do not always respect the law requiring search warrants.
Régie Nationale des Postes (RNP, National Postal Administration) is responsible for postal service in Burundi. Operating as an independent state-owned company since 1992, the RNP has reported to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Tourism since 2010.