Marian Shinn. Image courtesy of the Democratic Alliance (DA).
HumanIPO reported yesterday on the state of the internet in Africa.
“According to the report, South Africa had the lowest average connection speed of all European, Middle-Eastern, and African (EMEA) countries surveyed,” said Shinn.
However, in terms of kilobytes per second (kbps), the interactive map featured on Akamai’s website indicates that while South Africa may be much slower than most European countries, it is not the slowest in terms of average connection speed compared with some Middle Eastern countries and is the fastest in Africa with 2,132 kbps, second only to Reunion island with 3,514 kbps.
The report did, however, place South Africa as 80th on a global scale for average internet connectivity speed, 126th for peak connectivity globally and 69th for the average speed of broadband connectivity, 8 per cent of which is able to reach speeds of 4 megabytes per second (mbps).
“This is far below the global average of 46 per cent and less than a tenth of the global leader, Switzerland, at 88 per cent. The high cost, lack of access and slow connectivity hampers economic growth and job creation,” said Shinn.
HumanIPO reported earlier this month Dominic Cull, regulatory advisor to the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), said the plan to set up a National Broadband Council with representatives from both the public and private sector was a wise move.
Shinn added: “The World Bank has identified broadband connectivity as a key catalyst for economic growth with every 10 per cent increase in connectivity enabling a 1.38 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
South Africa’s average connection speed in terms of mbps is 2.1 mbps, which is well behind the global average of 3.1 and is far behind the top ten countries, which are achieving between 8.2 and 14.2 mbps.
“It is imperative that South Africa reach this standard in order to stimulate economic growth and job creation,” said Shinn, who said further she will write to Yunus Carrim, South Africa’s minister of communications, as a request to prioritise “South Africa’s slow and expensive internet regime”.
“The DA recognises the importance of broadband connectivity as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation. The success of the DA-led Western Cape government’s broadband strategy is an indication of what can be achieved,” said Shinn.