Cheap and Plentiful Broadband in Sub-Saharan Africa

Cheap and Plentiful Broadband in Sub-Saharan Africa: Clearing the Last Blockages
July 2013
By Kelvin WongBrian King, Russell Southwood, and Isabelle Gross
This briefing paper provides an overview of how to achieve cheaper, better, and wider broadband access by confronting forces driving blockages to and constraining broadband access in sub-Saharan Africa. The briefing presents results of an assessment of blockages based on quantitative and qualitative data from an array of countries. It analyzes and identifies some of the most common and persistent blockages and identifies solution paths towards wider, cheaper, and higher-quality broadband access on the basis blockage type and the infrastructure segments where blockages exist. Then a set of actionable alleviation measures are suggested. Overall results reveal that high prices for access to national and metropolitan networks are the leading constraints, followed by poor quality of service and persistent gaps in national broadband infrastructure. Transit costs for connecting from landlocked countries remain a significant constraint in some places, and several countries suffer from inadequate redundancy on critical international links. Solution paths tend to cluster around interventions on market, price, or physical infrastructure blockages. These blockages and solution paths are generalized to provide a high-level understanding. However concrete solutions are necessarily local, context-specific, and often the result of negotiations.
Wong, K., King, B., Southwood, R., & Gross, I. (n.d.). Cheap and Plentiful Broadband in Sub-Saharan Africa: Clearing the Blockages (CIDCM Working Research Paper Series, Working paper). 
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