Local Bandwidth Caps kill Web 2.0

The popular practice of monthly bandwidth limits is detrimental to the development and take-up of Web 2.0 services in South Africa.

This is the opinion of Arthur Goldstuck, Managing Director of the research firm World Wide Worx. In his presentation at the Online Industry Summit in Johannesburg, Goldstuck said that the three big obstacles to a true Internet boom in South Africa are the current digital divide, access to SAT3 and the general high cost of access to the Internet.

Goldstuck said that apart from the fact that the unconnected part of the population are not getting connected, there is another 5 year experience curve for new users which only serves to hold the SA online industry back even more.

The contentious monthly bandwidth caps is another aspect which holds local Internet growth back, and according to Goldstuck pervasive access will not truly materialize until higher usage limits become commonplace.

For Web 2.0 to grow broadband users need the freedom to utilize bandwidth intensive services like online video streaming without being concerned about time spent online or usage limits.

International broadband services generally provide users with the freedom of an always-on, unlimited Internet service, but the strict capping policies of local broadband providers mean that South African users must watch their usage.

This, coupled with high local hosting costs, means that bandwidth intensive services, like video streaming, are not really prevalent in South Africa.


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Local Bandwidth Caps kill Web 2.0