The Measurement Lab Research Consortium (M-Lab) has recently launched its first locations in Africa, revealing that South Africa’s Internet quality is of the worst in the world.
Measurement Lab is an open platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. It uses these tools to provide a global, publicly available source of data on network performance.
M-Lab launched its first locations in Africa in partnership with TENET in South Africa, and KENET in Kenya, Google Africa, and other industry and academic partners.
Data is now being collected in South Africa and Kenya via local servers for the first time, providing a new source of information about the health and performance of the Internet in Africa.
Download speed in South Africa
The M-Lab data shows that South Africa has close to the worst Internet download speeds in the world.
According to the platform, South Africa’s average download speed of 0.33Mbps is lower than many other African countries, including Ghana, Tunisia and Morocco.
The following chart shows exactly how far down the list South Africa finds itself.
What is of particular concern is that South Africa’s download speed has decreased over the last few months.
The M-Lab data shows that South Africa’s average download speed peaked at 0.51Mbps in December 2012, and has steadily declined to its current level of 0.33Mbps.
Download speed by region
The M-Lab data also provides information about the Internet quality of regions (provinces) within a country. The following chart shows the average download speed of South Africa’s provinces.
Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape is not listed on the M-Lab website. It is assumed that there is not enough data from these two provinces.