Thursday, July 15, 2010

Broadband Deals Come to Africa

In countries where computers are still scarce, access to the Internet has been difficult, slow, and expensive. People living in African nations have the worst Internet access of anyone on the planet. Compared with countries like Israel, where it is estimated that seven people in one hundred have a computer, most countries in Africa, like Kenya, have startlingly lower statistics. Recent counts in Kenya estimate that there are only about two computers per one hundred people. Although, thanks to Internet cafes and schools, about nine people in one hundred have Internet access.

Because there are so few people using the Internet in Africa, it hasn’t proved profitable to provide faster, easier Internet access here—until recently. Use of the Internet in eastern African countries has been facilitated lately by the arrival of broadband. A fiber-optic cable buried under the Indian Ocean will provide this new service. In places like Kenya, satellites have previously provided Internet access—the slow, often-interrupted access that has so frustrated users. But the weather and other conditions that affect satellites will not affect the undersea cable and will replace the old connections with faster, more reliable ones.

Developments like this can mean a large economic boost to historically impoverished areas. Companies providing cell phone and Internet service will begin offering broadband deals in countries where there has previously been no market. The increase in speed of communication and the new ability to successfully advertise or set up a business online means that many Kenyans and other Africans will have new opportunities to connect with a global market. Some even anticipate the arrival of broadband in Africa could help save lives. Sick people with access to a computer could be diagnosed from home. In African countries, where there may be only one doctor per six hundred people, this new technology could indeed be a blessing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Thank you and Have a great day !!!