In this age where practically every task can be achieved with more ease and greater speed online, connection to the internet can make a lot of difference, which is probably why South Africans are demanding for cheaper internet.
Students who are connected to the internet can research wider, businesses that are connected to the intrnet have a greater consumer base and even people who buckle to an illness can go to the internet for some useful insight. The internet is a treasure trove of opportunities and knowledge but these needful connectivity can be hindered by high data costs.
It is this high data costs that have led South Africans to unite in demand for cheaper internet. A campaign to that end has been launched in the country and the callis for telecom providers to reduce the charge they collect from commecting South Africans to the internet.
Almost immediately following the launch of their campaign, the hashtag #DataMustFall has been trending nationwide on social media, we bet that cost a lot of people a lot of internet money.
South Africa Has Cheaper Internet Relative To Other African Countries
The ironic thing about South Africa’s demand for cheaper internet is that they already have the most affordable mobile internet in Africa according to the International Telecommunication Union.
Africa as a continent falls behind in global internet penetration. South Africa may have the cheapest internet in Africa yet globally it ranks 66th on that note. In 2015, the Measuring the Information Society Report gave some insight into the cost of 500MB prepaid mobile data and here’s how SA and a few other African countries fared besides the US and UK:
- South Africa: $9/month (1.5% of average income)
- Kenya: $5.70/month (5.9% of average income)
- Nigeria: $12.20/month (5.4% of average income)
- Liberia: $20/month (59% of average income)
- US: $48.90/month (1.1% of average income)
- UK: $16.45/month (0.47% of average income)
South African radio personality, Thabo Molefe, started the campaign for cheaper internet and he posits that a drop in prices would enable students to access online learning materials. He tweeted;
“Young people should be able to enjoy the benefits of e-learning by downloading textbooks online or catching up on a lecture on YouTube, but they can’t do that because everything revolves around data and WiFi.”
Taking the vehement public outcry for cheaper internet into account, SA’s parliamentary committee for telecommunications has decided to hold public hearings over the cost of internet.