The African market is flooded with zero rating services such as Free Basics (Facebook’s zero rating scheme) and other subsidised data strategies. Do these schemes make internet more affordable and bring access to more people in Africa?
Affordability is one of the primary barriers to internet access, and particularly to optimal use. Knowing this fully from our previous research, Research ICT Africa (RIA) conducted focus groups in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda in November 2016.
This joint submission to the Parliament of South Africa hearings on "The Cost to Communicate in South Africa" focuses on innovative regulatory responses to increase affordable rural access, and presents alternatives for policy implementation that could contribute to meeting service targets.
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.