Can the expansion of broadband internet contribute to a higher quality of life?
South African Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele recently announced it’s plan to push for phone company Telkom to provide funds for a government backed expansion of broadband internet access. The proposal is expected to cost roughly $8.4 billion US, but government expenses are expected to be cut down as it plans to shift many public services online, making it easier for residents of South Africa to access them nationwide. According to Bloomberg Business, South Africa is surprisingly “one of the world’s stragglers in Internet access with just 3.06 fixed-line broadband subscribers per 100 people in 2013 compared with 10.08 in Brazil, 29.25 in the U.S. and 34.56 in Germany, according to figures compiled by the World Bank.” However, the African National Congress, in accordance with the National Infrastructure Plan, has pledged to extend broadband internet access to every household by 2020. There is hope that this expansion along with other reforms will boost economic growth and will contribute to an overall higher quality of life in the nation as a whole.