South Africans are getting nailed over broadband prices

Ookla’s Household Value Index and Household Promise Index statistics from February 2015 show that South Africans pay a lot more than other countries for a broadband connection.

Despite improvements in broadband speeds and decreasing costs, the relative value South African broadband users get compared to the rest of the world remains low.

In terms of cost per Megabit per second (Mbps) — which measures how much you pay for the broadband speed you get — South Africa was ranked 62nd out 62 countries, with a median monthly cost of $19.88 (R230) per Mbps.

The price has improved since September 2014, when the local median monthly cost was $23.08 per Mbps.

The global median cost per Mbps was $5.36.

Net Index South Africa
Net Index South Africa

The top-ranked country on the list was Bulgaria, with its users paying $0.44 (R5) per month per Mbps.

The top 10 cheapest countries, as ranked using the average cost measure, are listed below.

Net Index Top 10
Net Index Top 10

Relative cost to GDP

South Africa improved slightly when it came to the relative cost of broadband, as measured by dividing the monthly subscription cost by the Gross Domestic Product per Capita.

Ranked 57 out of 62 countries, with the cost of broadband representing 11.185% of GPD per capita, SA beat Egypt, the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan, and India.

This is still significantly higher than the government’s policy of giving every South African broadband access for 2.5% or less of the country’s average monthly income, though.

Luxemborg came in first, with the cost of broadband representing 0.606% of GPD per capita.

When looking at the relative cost per Mbps – the median cost per Mbps divided by the Gross Domestic Product per Capita – SA came 58th out of 62.

Promised Speed vs Actual Speed

South Africa also doesn’t rank well on Ookla’s global Household Promise Index.

Also based on its surveys and tests conducted through Ookla’s Speedtest.net, the Household Promise Index uses the median ratio of actual download speed to the download speed subscribed to, or “promised speed”.

Here SA came in at 56th out of 64 tested countries, with a median of 73.05% promised speed delivered. The global average is 86.9%.

The top 10 promised speed vs delivered speed countries are listed below.

Net Index Top 10 - Promised vs Delivered
Net Index Top 10 – Promised vs Delivered

Priced out of Internet access

According to the recently released A4AI Affordability Report, more than two billion people in developing and emerging countries are being “priced out” of accessing the Internet.

The report found that in 51 developing nations, a fixed broadband connection costs the average citizen 40% of their monthly income.

“Mobile broadband is cheaper but… averaging 10% of monthly income – about as much as developing country households spend on housing,” the report stated.

Out of a total of 100, where a higher score means more affordable Internet access, South Africa scored 43.44 – placed behind the likes of Costa Rica, Rwanda, Nigeria, Colombia, Turkey, Morocco, Uganda, and Kenya.

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South Africans are getting nailed over broadband prices