TRYING TO LOWER BROADBAND COSTS
August 25, 2004 - Johannesburg
- The Internet Society of SA (ISOC-ZA) has aligned itself with
the Online Publishers' Association's (OPA) call for an urgent
meeting with government to discuss the high cost of bandwidth in
the country. ISOC-ZA also believes that reducing the cost of
bandwidth is imperative in order to stimulate the growth of
In a statement, the
organisation claims that government should become actively
involved in making this a reality, as the true cost of bandwidth
is clear from the dramatic slow-down in growth of Internet users
In its statement, ISOC-ZA
quotes a report by World Wide Worx, an independent research
company, which shows that growth slowed down to 6% in
For 2004, World Wide Worx forecasts an increase from 3.28 million Internet users
at the end of 2003 to around 3.52 million users.
This means that at the current
rate of growth, there will only be one in ten people in SA that
will have Internet access by 2006.
ISOC-ZA says that even the
introduction of broadband Internet access by both Telkom and
Sentech has failed to reduce prices, with broadband remaining
excessively high priced and out of the reach of average
Pointing out that the cheapest
broadband access from Telkom costs approximately R1.75/Kbps while
Sentech's MyWireless is R2.93/Kbps, the organisation claims that
this is 286% and 480% more expensive than a comparable offering
from an Egyptian ISP.
"It is the view of ISOC-ZA that
broadband can have a significant impact on growing the number of
Internet users in the country and it can certainly help to bridge
the digital divide," says the statement.
"Therefore we support the OPA's
criticism of the bandwidth situation and join them in calling for
an indaba with government, the regulator, the Internet Service
Providers Association and other related parties to find ways of
reducing bandwidth and broadband costs in SA."