Current state of Internet connectivity in South Africa

Current state of Internet connectivity in South Africa

Current state of Internet connectivity in South Africa

 

Increased Connectivity

The surge of enhanced internet access within South Africa has reached levels never seen before, with growth projected to continue for years to come. By the year 2020, it is predicted that for the South African market, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine’s (M2M) installed bases will reach 35 million users according to the Electronic Communications Network.

This growth in internet connections will have a positive impact on the country bringing with it a rise in accessibility to information for education, access to employment opportunities, and overall improved economics. The South African government, partnered with the World Economic Forum, launched an initiative ‘Internet for All’ in 2017 which aims to make internet accessible to every South African by the year 2020 as stated by the South African Government News Agency.

According to the 2017 Internet Access in South Africa study by World Wide Worx, it was found that there were around 22.5 million online users in South Africa - almost half of the population at the time. As more people are looking towards faster internet, the call for fibre connectivity has far surpassed the need for ADSL. A high demand for faster streaming services in television and music will further aid in the growth of fibre connections across South Africa 

 

Information Gap

According to Arthur Goldstruck, managing director of researchers at World Wide Worx, the cost of data in South Africa is a major factor affecting the amount of active internet users as our prices for data are among the highest worldwide. The amount of people who own mobile devices is greater than the amount of internet users by over 8 million people as stated by Goldstruck. Internet connections can therefore be limited due to these data costs.

 

Infrastructure

Distributing fibre optics throughout the country tackles the telecommunications infrastructure problem we are facing, however, it is clear to see that there is still a vast digital divide between metropolitan areas and smaller towns.

 

South Africa is quickly on its way to having fibre optics as its chosen solution to the connectivity problems it faces. If the rise of internet connectivity is implemented correctly, there is no telling the benefits we could gain.