Broadband uptake in Africa still low

Globally, Africa has the fewest number of people actively accessing broadband Internet, despite the massive rollout of fibre-optic cables across the continent.

According to Deutsche Welle, a German news agency, the continent accounts for only six percent of global connectivity despite the ICT development in Africa.

The news suggests that more infrastructural initiatives are necessary if broadband penetration in Africa is to increase, with African countries failing to roll out countrywide broadband access fast enough.

The introduction of high-speed Internet has seen a fall in prices, although consumers still insist that the broadband prices are high.

Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria have spearheaded the aggressive layout of fibre-optic cables in Africa, bringing fast Internet to their populations.

According to a reports, however, the major issue that goes unmentioned is the last mile connectivity, the extent to which people in rural areas are able to access broadband Internet. This is posing a challenge to many African governments.

Many rural areas rely on the connectivity offered by mobile phone companies rather than fast broadband Internet.

“Even in Nigeria, the country with the highest number of Internet users on the continent, two out of three inhabitants are deprived of entry into the World Wide Web,” Deutsche Welle said.

Nigeria’s ICT industry is vibrant among its peers in Africa and is poised to be one of the markets to watch in terms of technology.

In an interview with AllAfrica, Mohammed Mustapha of Hypertech Nigeria Limited said that the outlook on the ICT industry in Nigeria was promising.

“The impact [of ICT in Nigeria] is very glaring and obvious, in a market that is charged in excess of 89 million subscription rate of telecom operators; it is obvious that it has made a gross impact on the 25 percent of the population,” he said.

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