Internet Solutions (IS) has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), the company announced in a press release on Thursday, 27 February 2014.
In a recent report released by the A4AI (Alliance for Affordable Internet) IS said that it is estimated that broadband still costs more than half of the monthly income of millions of people around the world, further entrenching the “digital divide”.
“The A4AI initiative, which began in Silicon Valley through the efforts of Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation, aims to bridge the ‘digital divide’ by bringing the Internet to the billions of unconnected people across the globe,” said Siyabonga Madyibi, Regulatory Director at IS.
“For the large number of people still unconnected, entry-level broadband costs, on average, 40% of their monthly income, and in many countries this figure exceeds 80%, according to the report,” Madyibi said. ”As a result, billions cannot afford to get online, which constrains economic and social progress.”
IS said that it aims to “facilitate the achievement of the UN Broadband Commission’s target of entry-level broadband services, priced at less than 5% of the average monthly income”.
It aims to do this through a combination of advocacy, research, and knowledge-sharing, IS said.
“Our objective is to drive this change by getting involved in the A4AI’s coordinated lobbying efforts, specifically across Africa,” Madyibi said. “These efforts aim to involve governments and incumbent network operators in an attempt to create open, efficient and competitive broadband markets through policy and regulatory reform.”
Madyibi said that IS has “valuable insights to share with the alliance”, as it has successfully operated in many countries across the continent that are still developing their regulatory and policy environments.
This has also allowed IS to develop a flexible approach and adopt a number of innovative solutions to ensure Africans can enjoy reliable access to the Internet, Madyibi said.