A study into access and consumption of broadband data by South African consumers
ABSTRACT In South Africa, the unavailability of a universal, high-speed and reliable Broadband network has impacted negatively on the country’s development and global competitiveness. Whilst the South African telecommunication sector has grown almost 20-fold over since 1992, the growth masks a range of unintended policy outcomes and a series of costly licensing and regulatory disputes which have set South Africa back. The South African government gazetted “SA Connect” in 2013 which outlines some ambitious national Broadband targets linked to availability, cost and speed. This research report investigates the barriers that exist for the desired use of Broadband by South Africans who access the Internet for personal purposes. A review of the literature highlighted cost and speed as a limitation to the take up and usage of Broadband in both developed and developing economies. An online survey questionnaire was distributed where 1,404 respondents were asked to rank the importance of these drivers across home and mobile Broadband categories. T-Test and 1-Way ANOVA statistical tests were then used to analyse what associations existed within each of the respondent categories to better understand the South African Broadband dynamic. Both cost and speed were found to be significant limitations to Broadband takeup and usage in South Africa with this being even more apparent with users of mobile Broadband. Cost ranked as the highest limitation across both fixed and mobile Broadband users. Income had a direct bearing on access to fixed line Broadband as well as speed. Mobile Broadband was the most used access technology with only 40% of respondents having access to fixed line Broadband. Recommendations were made to government to review and effectively implement Broadband policy (including licensing of spectrum) that will address cost and speed as barriers whilst private sector is encouraged to continue with investment in mobile Broadband infrastructure which is the future for South Africa.
Broadband communication systems, Mobile communication systems, Consumer behavior -- South Africa.