January 10, 2013.
Cape Town - Downloading files and streaming content is slow and expensive in South Africa – even countries such as Mongolia and Tajikistan do better, a recent study has shown.
The study by Ookla’s Net Index ranked SA in 122nd place out of 180 countries across the globe by measuring their download speeds.
The results of the test data was recorded from December 10 last year until Tuesday, January 8.
While the average consumer download speed worldwide was 12.73 megabytes per second, SA recorded a speed of 3.43 mbps. – Cape Times
*****Comment: Surprised? Probably not but if you are you really shouldn't be.
A quick correction though: According to the website of the company (Ookla) that did the above study South Africa actually ranks 121 and not 122 like the reports says.
Our regional neighbors Angola (85) and Namibia (65) outrank us on the same list of 180 countries measured for download speeds.
A couple years ago I was in Nairobi for an extended period and I was amazed at the Internet speeds available as well as the relative cost compared to South Africa.
Kimberley where I am currently imprisoned only averages a download speed of 1.71 Mbps. If I was lucky enough to be living in Sandton - one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country - I could expect an underwhelming 4.13 Mps to go with my bloated latte lifestyle.
Nairobi according to Ookla clocks in at an average of 4.61Mps.
The real kicker is that even if I was unlucky enough to be living in the despot Robert Mugabe's Harare I would nonetheless still enjoy an average of 3.01 Mps - that is almost twice the download speed in Kimberley.
Truth is most South Africans know we are being f*cked royally by the overly regulated government business of telecommunications. Even if you are using one of the cellular companies for web access you getting screwed on speeds and costs.
Add to that the often spotty coverage and web access in South Africa is a pain in the you know where.
Some of you may remember that around the time that the government was preparing for the soccer world cup a lot of noise was made about improving the telecoms infrastructure.
"Overseas visitors will demand fast Internet access and Wifi hotspots and we will deliver," was the often heard claim.
F*ck-off was my response then and it has not changed till now.
The web crawls in South Africa because we have leaders who would rather wring the last dime out of an inefficient system than upgrade and see obvious benefits that can only improve overall development prospects.
Hell the same leadership can't even deliver textbooks to the kids in the schools across this country. Last year students sat without textbooks and other learning material for the vast majority of the school year and now we have the education minister bragging about the excellent pass rate - anyone can pass when the threshold to do so is set at a measly 30%.
I don't often find myself agreeing with Professor Jonathan Jansen but in a recent column on the mess that is South Africa's school system he rightly asks, "Where is our dignity?"
South Africa is preparing a whole generation of kids to be illiterate and unskilled adults - and yet the ruling party is quick to remind all and sundry that they freed us.
Freed us from what I often wonder.
The thought that schools would be connected to the Internet is unthinkable. Why the hell would the government be thinking about putting web access in every classroom so at the very least we would not have to worry about inefficient bureaucrats and thieving tenderpreneurs who keep textbooks from students?
F*ck. Why is it so frustrating just trying to get through most days in South Africa?
I wonder what the residency requirements for Mongolia may be ...