Shocking state of South Africa’s broadband: report

Akamai Technologies released its Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report, which shows that South Africa performed poorly against other surveyed nations – both globally and in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Akamai’s State of the Internet report is based on data gathered from the company’s “Intelligent Platform”.

The report provides insight into key global statistics such as network connectivity and connection speeds, attack traffic, and broadband adoption and Internet availability.

Broadband speeds

The global average connection speed continued its upward trend in the third quarter of 2013, climbing 10% over the previous quarter to 3.6Mbps.

The global average peak connection speeds showed a slight decline in the third quarter of 2013, dropping 5.2 percent to 17.9 Mbps.

South Africa had an average connection speed of 2.3Mbps, and an average peak connection speed of 6.8Mbps. This is significantly lower than the global and regional speeds.

South Africa was one of only three countries in the EMEA region which saw a quarterly decline in their average broadband speeds.

South Africa and Italy were also the only ones to have average peak connection speeds below 20 Mbps, with South Africa’s 6.8 Mbps average peak speed the lowest seen across the EMEA region in the third quarter.

Broadband speeds
Broadband speeds

Broadband adoption decline

More bad news is that South Africa’s high broadband adoption rate declined by 45% year-on-year. Akamai defines “high broadband” as connections to Akamai of 10Mbps or greater.

South Africa was only one of two countries where this happened, joining the United Arab Emirates in this category.

“Only five of the surveyed EMEA countries had less than one-tenth of their connections to Akamai at speeds above 10Mbps, with South Africa seeing the lowest high broadband adoption rate in the third quarter, at 1.1%, after a surprisingly large 29% quarterly decline,” Akamai stated.

High speed broadband adoption
High speed broadband adoption

South Africa was also one of only four countries where the broadband adoption rate declined over the past year: Indonesia (down 1.9% to 1.8% adoption), South Africa (down 12% to 7.7% adoption), the United Arab Emirates (down 23% to 43% adoption), and Kenya (down 62% to 2.1% adoption).

Broadband adoption rates
Broadband adoption rates

Mobile connectivity speed

South Africa did not perform much better when it came to mobile Internet speeds.

Only providers NC-1 in New Caledonia, AR-2 in Argentina, and ZA-1 in South Africa had average connection speeds below 1Mbps.

South African mobile provider ZA-1 once again had the lowest global average connection speed, at 0.6Mbps.

South African mobile provider ZA-1 also had the lowest average peak connection speed, at just 2.4Mbps.

Mobile Internet speeds
Mobile Internet speeds

More on South Africa’s broadband

SA’s mobile broadband speeds poor: Akamai

SA broadband speeds: the good, the bad and the ugly

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Shocking state of South Africa’s broadband: report