The recent article in The Engineer ‘is Fiber to the Home (FTTH) in Africa just for the elite?’ – got me thinking of the progression I have seen in Africa since 2006 and my experience of internet accessibility in the continent. I also looked at the advantages that high speed, widely available (and in this I mean price as well as physical availability), internet connections will bring to Africa.
The benefits of FTTH to everyone
Firstly, it is worth looking at the benefits. Obviously faster broadband enables people to receive services such as IPTV, widening their entertainment choices, while also allowing them to download data and information faster than before. However it goes further, empowering them. It makes it easier to work from home and communicate nationally and internationally using voice and video at no extra cost through VoIP services such as Skype, enabling people to start and expand their own businesses. They can sign up for content rich educational courses, particularly those including video lectures and real-time tutorials, learning vital skills to improve their lives. And government services, from healthcare to registering for benefits, can be applied for and accessed online, reducing the bureaucracy and increasing efficiency for both citizens and civil servants.