Broadband in the world: satellite as a crucial player to face digital divide
40% Of Sub-Saharan Africa is still facing digital divide over broadband access
Satellite communications has a crucial role to play in helping to bridge the digital divide which currently disenfranchises large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new socio-economic report launched by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).
The report, which is sponsored by Avanti Communications, states that the vast majority of Sub-Saharan Africa is falling behind the rest of the world in terms of broadband connectivity because of limited supply and very high prices. The report also highlights that broadband should not just be viewed as a consequence of economic growth, but as a driver. Research demonstrates that a 10% increase in broadband penetration yields economic growth of 1.38%, nearly twice the impact of the same increase in fixed line telephony.
African Information Communication Technologies Ministers set a target of 80% broadband penetration by 2020 at the ICT Indaba held in Cape Town in June 2012. However, there will be significant challenges in achieving that goal. Currently 341 million people live beyond the reach of fibre based broadband network and the CTO report highlights the essential role of satellite based broadband services in closing this gap.
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