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Sat Dec 20 16:59:58 SAST 2014

SA slower than even Tajikistan

TJ STRYDOM | 09 January, 2013 00:19
An internet cable is seen at a server room in this picture
Image by: KACPER PEMPEL / REUTERS

Slow and expensive. That is South Africa's version of broadband internet, a recent study found.

The latest statistics from Ookla's Net Index put South Africa 122nd out of 180 countries measured according to download speed.

The state-owned Broadband Infraco and state-controlled Telkom have been given a mandate to roll out broadband internet to unconnected masses. But those with access to the internet get it at speeds much slower than the world average.

The average consumer download speed in South Africa is 3.42 Mbps compared with 12.73mbps worldwide.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Lithuania and Luxembourg are the world leaders with a download speed of more than 35mbps in all of them.

Mauritania (at No13) is the highest-ranked African country with a download speed of 26.94mbps.

Mongolians, Tajikistanis and Cambodians can all stream content and download files faster than South Africans, the Net Index shows.

And speed - even at a crawl - is expensive in South Africa.

The index places the country 58th out of 64 in terms of the relative cost of access to broadband. And the cost of each megabyte per second is calculated at more than $37 - second only to the prohibitively expensive Venezuela.

Within South Africa, the area with the zippiest connections is Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, with download speeds of more than 10mbps.

Bryanston, Midrand and Randburg were next. And Johannesburg rated 10th in the country. Cape Town came in 17th spot and Durban at number 38.

The index used data from between November 28 and January 7.

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