We all love the internet, we browse, stream and do almost everything entertaining now on the internet, but we all accept that all is not well with internet issues in Africa from speed to affordability. Today, we bring you 6 top obstacles to mass internet adoption in Africa.
The price of data offered by mobile network operators & ISPs is prohibitive for most people. Not prohibitive to use, but to use as much as one would like e.g. video streaming, heavy downloads. This limits the use of the internet to areas where it’s available for free (offices, places of work). On mobile devices, data bundles are used to serve most social media needs (FB, twitter, WhatsApp) which have low data usage. If you live on less a dollar a day, you won’t spend it on a few minutes on the internet, instead of eating.
In AFRICA, our typical internet connectivity comes from GSM mobile broadband, HSPA+ in the cities, EDGE in remote areas. It is mostly reliable, depending on the area. You get between 500Kbps and 3Mbps if you are lucky enough. This speed is normally not constant.
You’d need to to have access to a computer, a (not soo)high-end device, reliable electricity, reliable, halfway fast internet connectivity etc. for it to be feasible.
4. Relevant Content:
For relevance, the question is how much Africa relevant content is there on the web at this moment? How many websites are carry news relevant to Africa? what percentage of videos on YouTube have African content? How many apps on the playstore or App Store address African issues? What would make a vegetable seller in an African village want to get online? does he or she truly believe that there is anything relevant for him/her online? If they really did, they would get online, no matter what.
These two issues create a sort of chicken and egg situation i.e. You need Access to create relevance and you need relevance to create enough demand to inspire more investment in access but I believe that these two issues can and are being tackled simultaneously.
5. Reliability, transparency, and accountability by ISPs and their network providers.
Well, this is one of the important problems, most ISPs here take customers for granted, data keeps vanishing and if you call them and ask them it looks like the customer care rep has no idea about the work of the ISP, subscribing for bundle is also an issue, for example, MTN Ghana always has put their bundle menu after 10 pm claiming they are doing maintenance.
6. Indoors, written word based, sedentary lifestyle
Those people who use the internet every day and many hours a day tend to be those who sit in front of a computer for work anyway. If you are a farmer out in the field the whole day and you can barely (if at all) read, what is the internet to you?
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