Broadband internet. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Fin24 user Victor S. Motha has expressed his views on why South Africa needs to start paying closer attention to internet costs.
South Africa, in the last 18 months, has seen world-class internet services in the form of fibre networks being rolled out to affluent suburbs.
READ: Here's where Telkom is upgrading ADSL to fibre
But the local fibre rush has prompted questions about why less affluent areas are left behind.
READ: Why only wealthy areas get fibre broadband
Fin24 user Victor S. Motha has subsequently expressed his views on the subject in a letter to Fin24:
The development of infrastructure that enables less affluent areas, where the majority of South Africans live, to access high speed internet is of utmost importance to the development of the South African economy. It will help empower the underprivileged and give them access to information.
My main concern is the cost to the consumer that has been passed on by telecommunications companies.
For example; if you are a Vodacom user then you may already be familiar with the cost of using their current LTE offering. It is far more costly than when compared to their far more inferior 3G offering.
Because the basic way in which one uses the internet is dependent on the size of the content they download, view, stream, etc.
The extra charges incurred by the user for the LTE services make no sense to me (as a layperson) as the amount of information I'm consuming has not primarily changed. In numerous occasions I have depleted my "data bundles" at a faster rate using LTE than when on 3G, to the extent where I would resort to calling Vodacom customer care to enquire about it. They would proceed to explain to me that the LTE services consumed more data than the 3G service even though the primary content viewed, streamed, or downloaded was the same size on both services.
The continued emphasis by telecommunications companies on maintaining a high return on investment on all infrastructure development related investment has seen this country monetise access to information.
We need to redress such issues that pertain to the empowerment of the underprivileged and under-resourced South African.
We need to provide world class internet at world class speeds, but also need to legislatively regulate how private corporations, which sell key developmental tools that can be used to empower the masses, price their products.
Giving the less fortunate, access to information at high unregulated prices hinders our progress and cripples us as a nation.
With this said, I believe such infrastructure will help the less effluent as it has so obviously improved the lives of the privileged.
Regards,Victor S. Motha