Tech

39% of Ghanaians are online – Report

The Factsheet of the 2019 Affordable Internet Report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) indicates that 39% of people in Ghana are online.

This compares favorably with the 24% in Africa as a continent, according to the report, which sourced the International Telecommunications Union.

But America leads the pack in percentage terms with a whopping 70% of population online, while Asia, which has the biggest chunk of the world’s population boasts of some 47% people online.

The global online presence figure is currently 51%, and the report says cost is the biggest barrier to access, keeping people offline.

Cost

“In low and middle-income countries, 1GB data costs 4.7% of average monthly income. This is more than doublethe United Nations affordability threshold, which says 1GB of data should not be more than 2% of average monthly income,” the report said.

The report noted that over one billion people live in countries where broadband data is not affordable, adding that out of 100 countries captured in theAlliance for 4Affordable Internet (A4AI)mobile broadband pricing survey, only 37 have reached the UN 2% affordability threshold.

In Ghana, 1GB of data cost on the average, 2.03% of monthly income, which is very close to the United Nations’ affordability threshold of not more 2% of monthly salary.

The average cost of internet in Ghana also compare favorably with the global average of 4.7% of monthly incomes.

Indeed, average internet cost in Ghana is slightly better than that of the Americas, where the average cost stood at 2.7% of monthly income.

The average cost of 1GB of data on the entire African continent is much worse, standing at a whopping 7.1%, which is more than three times the UN threshold.

The reported noted that “although Africa has some of the world’s most consolidated broadband markets, Ghana has a maturing broadband market and is progressing towards a healthy market.”

But when it comes to cost, Asia is the only continent which has an average cost within the UN 2% affordability threshold.

In Asia, 1GB of data in Asia cost an average of 1.9% of monthly income, which is less that the UN 2% threshold.

Worrying trend

The report notes a worrying trend, which was that the study this year finds that consolidated broadband markets are keeping prices high and putting life-changing internet access out of reach for hundreds of millions of people.

“People in countries with consolidated markets pay US$3.42 more per GB for mobile data than those in similar countries with healthy markets,” it said.

It said around 900 million people currently live in countries where the cost of internet access is kept high by consolidated markets.

It gets much worse in monopoly mobile markets, where 1GB data could be as much as US$7.33 more expensive than if it were a two-operator market, and an estimated 260 million people live in areas dominated by just one major mobile network operator.

Source: Samuel Dowuona

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