Why African governments need to listen to the case for "open access" to international communications infrastructure
Africa faces two serious challenges regarding internet connectivity – high prices and unreliable connections. The SAT-3/WASC cable, a submarine cable that runs from Portugal to South Africa, has the potential to help alleviate some of the connectivity challenges however, a study released by the APC in May 2008 and now in French and Portuguese written by Abiodun Jagun, reveals that the cable remains largely under-utilised. APCNews talks to Abi Jagun about her findings.
Open Access in the context of Communication (Open Communication) means that anyone, on equal conditions with a transparent relation between cost and pricing, can get access to and share communication
Africans pay five to ten times more than Canadians do to access the internet. It is even more costly in rural settings, where a connection is often hard to find. However, what is even more scandalous is the fact that the consumers have no say. A walk on the dark side of the internet.
“Access to the internet is a thousand times cheaper in Scandinavian countries than in my village,” says Nigerian activist John Dada, who specialises in information and communications technologies (ICTs) for development. In order to contribute to the discussion on what can make access to the internet real for people, specially the poor and marginalised, APC is launching a series on equitable access that includes papers and commentaries on the themes of business models, policy and regulation, tools and technologies and people, networks and capabilities. We ask for your comments.
Privatisation without regulation does not necessarily improve service delivery, and may even decrease access to information and communication technology for the poor. This is the view of US-based academic and ICT policy analyst Robert Horwitz, who was speaking at a one-week research workshop held in Johannesburg in July 2008. Horwitz is no newcomer to South Africa, or to the politics behind antennas, cables and wires.