One of three projects to provide high-capacity Internet bandwidth to eastern Africa finishes Thursday. Experts say more access will lead to lower prices and greater use of the Internet among Africans.
The cost of accessing Internet services in Africa is likely to fall in the near future with work on laying a fiber-optic cable connecting eastern and southern Africa to Europe and Asia set to be completed by Seacom on Thursday.
The price of access to high-speed telecommunications in Africa is among the highest in the world, a fact which has kept many Africans off the Internet, according to Christoph Stork of Research ICT Africa, which consults on information and communication technology in 19 countries on the continent.
“While people in America were upset about bandwidth limits of 250 gigabytes a month, for mobile broadband access in South Africa we would have to pay about 100 euros ($142) per gigabyte,” he said.
Connectivity at a cost
Ham Mjulira, a former Ugandan cabinet member responsible for information and communication, said he expected the cost of voice and data communication to drop by as much as 80 percent as a result of the new cable.
“We’re expecting a massive drop as soon as Seacom is fully operational,” Stork said, adding that costs could fall by up tot 90 percent of current levels. “It will still be much higher than what European or Indian or American customers are used to, but it’s still a big drop.”
Read the full article/source: Deutsche Welle, January 21st, 2016, Author Sean Sinico