Randfontein has fastest SA broadband

2013-01-09 10:16
Randfontein is the fastest area in SA as far as broadband is concerned. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Randfontein is the fastest area in SA as far as broadband is concerned. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Randfontein is the fastest area in SA as far as broadband is concerned, a new study has found.

According to Ookla's Net Index reported on Times Live, Randfontein has a download speed of 10mbps, followed by Bryanston, Midrand and Randburg.

The survey noted though, that access was slow in SA, with the country coming in at 122nd out of 180 countries measured.

According to the survey, SA lags far behind the global standard of 12.7mbps with an average speed of 3.4mbps.

Industry players have urged the government to make broadband a focus area and manage rollout of services, especially in rural areas where it was not financially viable for private companies to do so.


"The government should look at broadband as a fourth utility - that's the only way it can work," Alpheus Mangale, managing director of Cisco told News24 recently.

Broadband should be added to the existing utilities of water, electricity and sewerage to facilitate faster rollout of services, especially in rural areas, Mangale insisted.

According to the survey, SA is also one of the more expensive countries for broadband access despite the falling cost over the last three years.

Typically, South Africans can access cable broadband services where state owned enterprise Telkom has infrastructure in place. Users are billed for the cable as well as voice line rental as a package.

Many in the industry have urged Telkom to abandon this practice and drive broadband service adoption in the country.

"So certainly we believe there's a great deal of scope for Telkom to enable socio economic benefits to ensure that communications are enjoyed at a lower price by more people in South Africa," Dominic Cull, ISPA regulatory advisor told News24 recently.

Poor communities, particularly in rural areas, have little access to cable broadband service as cost and availability are barriers to entry.


Government should take the lead in driving services to these communities, Cisco urged.

"Government has to realise that they have to play a role where we might have to invest a lot of money to rollout that broadband infrastructure for the poor because you're not going to have the big players or the big operators coming to say 'We're going to deploy broadband in a little village in Limpopo.' There's no business case to do that.

"If we treat it as a fourth utility and the government actually creates the investment and puts money into rolling out that broadband, then the majority of South Africans will have access to that," Mangale argued.

A World Bank report that showed that roughly for every 10% of broadband penetration, a country increased its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 1.38%.

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