Affordability, Availability, Accountability
Africa is generally known to be ‘developing’; meaning we are still trying to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of technological advancement and even decent standards of living per what every human is entitled to.
While some developed countries enjoy quality internet service and free Wi-Fi in public places, some of us on this side of the globe have to make do with mediocre yet expensive internet on a daily basis. As for the public Wi-Fi, well, some spaces try to be generous. Others also have theirs on lockdown so tight that their message is crystal clear: ‘We’re not sharing with you!’ I remember reading either a tweet or a Facebook post that mentioned that even church Wi-Fi was inaccessible. If the congregation is asked to contribute towards the running of the church, the least it could do was to offer its members access to its Wi-Fi, don’t you think? Sharing is caring, right?
While 5G is the new normal for some people overseas, some internet providers are even struggling to provide 3G! It fluctuates worse than our infamous ‘Dumsor’ moments. As unpredictable as it can be, there are times we are made to expect them not to function: after a heavy downpour. During moments when there is no apparent reason why, you get the default answer: ‘We are undergoing maintenance works.’
When it comes to availability, it is getting better. Some places are still out of coverage area but the situation is not as dire as before. If I’m to name and praise a network which is doing its best in terms of reach, it would be MTN. They are striving to live up to their ‘Everywhere you go’ slogan. For some others, they could care less…or is it that they don’t think it’s an investment worth making?
Hence, we are left with no choice but to acquire more than one sim card for different purposes: one for calls and another for internet. Thanks to phones with dual sim cards today; at least the days of having to swap sim cards are over. So stressful and inconvenient.
Data/internet isn’t cheap but when you apply wisdom with its usage and management, you can get by.
I’m hopeful that one day quality and affordable internet will be Africa’s new normal.
How’s the internet situation in your country? Kindly share and thanks for reading.
© Josephine Amoako 2019