Day 10 means we have 20 days left with this blogging challenge on the internet, in Africa and the financial resources that go with the data. The best case study or example for today’s topic is the winter blogging challenge at least a here in Uganda.
The Internet in Africa is still not yet affordable at reasonable world standards. According to statistics from the United Nations not sure of the arm, but one thing am sure of is that Internet access is a human right. So I have spent about $10 on the #WinterABC that is on reading posts with the hashtag on a daily basis and the Twitter bit of it. $ 10 is a lot of money because basic wages amount to about $ 81 roughly. Most people are limited to Facebook zero and WhatsApp and fear to open other URLs because they fear for the charges.
In Uganda, there are about 27 registered companies that can provide Internet. But about 6 are openly operational. The rest share equipment and resources which make operational costs high for them and, in the end, they shift the burden to the consumers.
When it comes to things like modems, routers, mifi, and other equipment that one would purchase to have the internet at home, they are too abnormally expensive with the provider making about 250% profits on them. The markets are not regulated due to what is seen as greed and politics.
When it comes to the issue of availability, in most cases you have to use the Internet café if you are the about 80km radius away from the capital Kampala. In Kenya, it’s a bit better. The network coverage is not that desirable. Many of the internet providers operate only in Capital cities. The best WiFi spots are at high-end shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. So if you can’t affordable visiting them frequently then you will be subjected to what I would refer to as lousy bandwidths or staying up till late to use the internet. Am yet to personally see the impact of the about 14 undersea Internet cables connected to Africa.
With governments that switch off the internet, impose taxes on social media usage all in the bid to discourage the use of the internet, and control the flow of information. The question of accountability is left to a few security nerds and internet enthusiasts. In most cases, we can’t even verify if they really sale a GB to us or it’s actually 500mb. With governments that hide cyber belches and bugs in the systems. Accountability is left to the dogs.
Internet usage in Africa is also affected by prospection and conservativism from those who don’t think it’s time to do business on the world wide web yet.
With countries like Rwanda launching satellites into space to boost internet coverage through private global places like SpaceX we have to keep our fingers crossed and for now just write about it.