Telecommunications in the Republic of the Congo

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Telecommunications in the Republic of the Congo include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Radio and television[edit]

  • Radio stations:
    • Three state-owned radio stations; several privately owned radio stations; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007);[1]
    • 1 AM, 5 FM, and 1 shortwave stations (1999).
  • Radios: 341,000 (1997).[needs update]
  • Television stations:
    • One state-owned and several privately owned TV stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007);[1]
    • One station (1999).
  • Television sets: 33,000 (1997).[needs update]

Most citizens obtain their news from local radio or television stations as there are no nationwide radio or television stations.[2]

Stations from nearby Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, can be received in Brazzaville and rebroadcasts of the BBC (103.8 FM), Radio France Internationale, and the Voice of America are available.[3]



A growing proportion of the public, especially youth, are accessing the Internet more frequently and utilizing online social media. However, only the most affluent have Internet access in their own homes; others who accessed it use cybercafes.[2]

Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet, or reports the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms. The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights. The law makes certain types of speech illegal, including incitement of ethnic hatred, violence, or civil war.[2]

The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions. The government makes no known attempts to collect personally identifiable information via the Internet.[2]

Succeeding Congo's independence, the constitutions of former presidents Abbe Fulbert Youlou (1960-1963) and Alphonse Massamba-Debat (1963–68) offered these guaranteed freedoms. Post-colonial administrations in practice relied on implicit bans and seize of images distributed by Congolese revolutionaries and oppositions. Restrictive censorship was especially uncompromising towards the foreign press, which was meticulously scrutinized during legislation creation. Order number 2294 prohibits the circulation of publishings by foreign origins including pamphlets, journal writings, or any association as such. Occasional success in overcoming newspaper censorship can be seen in the case of La Semaine Africaine, which consistently expresses notable messages representative of the ‘revolutionary press’. Unsuccessful efforts, however, are more common in Congo print, as seen by the failures of The Voice of the Congolese Revolution, the weekly Basali-ba-Kongo and Dipanda, and the National Youth Movement for the Revolution.[12]

Intentional Shutdowns[edit]

The Congolese government performed a series of intentional internet shutdowns. The first was conducted in December 2011 and lasted approximately 25 days. During the 25 days, Short Message Service otherwise known as SMS was the only one affected by the shutdown. According to an article by CIPESA, "One of the reasons cited by the government for blocking communication was to prevent the spread of fake results over the internet before the electoral commission announced official results"[13]

Unlike the first shutdown the second intentional shutdown had a broader range of impact.The second intentional shutdown occurred in January 2015. The Congolese government directed telecommunication companies within the country to halt all its services. Not only was SMS affected, but the entire internet itself. This action by the government came on the eve of political protest on a proposed electoral bill.

The most recent government shutdown occurred on December 19, 2016. This was an important date as President Joseph Kabila was supposed to step down as head of state. In order to quell, political upheaval the Congolese government ordered telecom operators to block social media in the country.

See also[edit]


  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from The World Factbook (2024 ed.). CIA. (Archived 2014 edition.)
  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Communications: Republic of the Congo", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 7 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Republic of the Congo", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 27 March 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Republic of Congo profile", fox news, 10 August 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  4. ^ Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. ^ "WACS has landed", IT News Africa, 19 April 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  7. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  8. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  10. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  11. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  12. ^ Menga, Guy (May 1986). "The Congo Censorship Commission". Index on Censorship. 15 (5): 31–37. doi:10.1080/03064228608534101. ISSN 0306-4220. S2CID 144479922.
  13. ^ "The Evolution of Internet Shutdowns in DR Congo". 31 March 2017. Retrieved 2022-03-28.

External links[edit]