Broadband Adoption| The Bandwidth Divide: Obstacles to Efficient Broadband Adoption in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa

Veljko Pejovic, David L. Johnson, Mariya Zheleva, Elizabeth Belding, Lisa Parks, Gertjan van Stam


Current metrics for evaluating Internet adoption capture the percentage of people with physical access to the Internet and provide a coarse understanding of actual usage. The factors for Internet adoption, however, are related not only to the provision of connectivity but also to individuals’ personal experience. We concentrate on rural sub-Saharan Africa, and through network traffic analysis and social surveys we find that the location of access, connectivity speeds, and the cost of the connection together with the overall context in which the usage happens severely impact online behavior. Thus, we identify a set of metrics that describe individual perceptions of the Internet and provide an in-depth understanding of Internet usage patterns to identify obstacles to Internet adoption.

Full Text: