The Damn Slow Speed of South Africa’s Internet Services

South Africa's slow internet connectivitySouth Africa has one of the lowest average internet connection speeds in the world, according to the First Quarter 2013 Akamai report, State of the Internet. According to the report, South Africa had the lowest average connection speed of all European, Middle-Eastern, and African (EMEA) countries surveyed.

In addition, the report reveals that South Africa ranks:

  • 80th worldwide for average internet connectivity speed.
  • 126th for peak connectivity speed worldwide.
  • 69th globally for the average speed of broadband connectivity with only 8% able to achieve speeds of 4 Mbps or more. This is far below the global average of 46% and less than a tenth of the global leader, Switzerland, at 88%.

The high cost, lack of access and slow connectivity hampers economic growth and job creation.

The World Bank has identified broadband connectivity as a key catalyst for economic growth with every 10% increase in connectivity enabling a 1.38% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

At an average connection speed of 2.1 Mbps, South Africa is below the global average of 3.1 Mbps and far behind the top ten countries who all achieve average connectivity speeds 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.

Note: The above was extracted from a statement by the DA’s Marian Shinn. It is important to note that the situation is often worse in small towns such as my home town, a tourist hotspot, of Knysna. Not all gloom as my MTN dongle’s reception has improved the past year, hitting a peak at 4am today of 2.5mbps (but only 1mbps upload). Although i’m living in the town’s centre, it’s important to note that part of that success is because i’ve connected it to an expensive aerial.

Most importantly, South Africa’s connectivity speed is not the most detrimental factor. Price is! It may have dropped but at my cost of R150 per gig, South Africa remains one of the most expensive in the world (and that we’re behind countries with less infrastructure than ours can only mean that the real problem lies with our country’s poor leadership and collusion with companies such as Telkom).

Leave a Reply