Broadband value in South Africa challenge: report

The latest Ookla Net Index “household value index” shows that the cost of a broadband connection is 12% of  South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. This is significantly higher than the planned 2.5% as stated in the country’s broadband policy.

On 6 December the Minister of Communications Yunus Carrim gazetted a new broadband policy for South Africa.

The policy and its associated strategy and plan – dubbed “South Africa Connect” – outlines a number of activities to improve broadband in South Africa.

The overall vision of the policy is to give every South African access to a broadband connection at a cost of 2.5% or less of the average monthly income. There is still a long way to go before this is reality.

The Ookla Net Index “household value index” shows that South Africans currently pay 12.08% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita for a broadband connection.

The Ookla Net Index “household value index” uses recent surveys from Speedtest.net to compare consumer broadband value around the world.

The survey ranked South Africa at number 58 out of 64 countries for the relative cost of broadband (i.e. the mean broadband subscription cost divided by the Gross Domestic Product per Capita).

This means that broadband access is still relatively expensive in South Africa – both in terms of international standards and local affordability.

The following list provides an overview of the affordability of broadband access in selected countries globally (the mean broadband subscription cost divided by the Gross Domestic Product per Capita).

  • 1 – Luxembourg (0.633% at $58.01/month)
  • 2 – Austria (0.756% at $31.24/month)
  • 3 – Denmark (0.839% at $43.43/month)
  • 8 – United Kingdom (0.938% at $34.05/month)
  • 21 – United States (1.372% at $53.00/month)
  • 28 – Australia (1.717% at $67.79/month)
  • 41 – New Zealand (2.832% at $71.83/month)
  • 51 – Brazil (5.692% at $38.92/month)
  • 58 – South Africa (12.082% at $57.17/month)
  • 59 – Egypt (16.387% at $27.19/month)
  • 63 – India (22.990% at $19.48/month)
  • 64 – Vietnam (84.833% at $74.30/month)

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Broadband value in South Africa challenge: report