The Usage and Impact of Broadband: A South African Household analysis


  • Lisa F Seymour
  • Mogen Naidoo


Keywords: broadband, South Africa, broadband benefits, broadband usage, broadband impact


Abstract: Broadband infrastructure is seen as crucial to a countrys social, economic and scientific goals and a requirement of the knowledge economy. Broadband has the ability to improve the lives of citizens as it can provide ICT skills for employment and improve access to online forms of education. It has been purported to provide consumers with better work/life balance attributed to increased empowerment and productivity, the ability to work from home and reduced stress. South Africa has recognized the importance of high‑speed broadband technology to advance the communications infrastructure of the country. However, although the demand for broadband is quite high, the adoption of the technology is lower than anticipated, particularly within the households of consumers. South Africa has fallen behind international peers in both the developed and some developing markets in its rollout of broadband services. While various studies and models aim to explain the adoption of broadband, there is little literature on the impact of broadband services in African countries. To address this need this paper investigates the use and impact of broadband services in South African households. The research comprises an initial literature review, followed by a qualitative study which is then validated by a quantitative study. The study shows that South African broadband users are predominantly experimental users. Users with higher usage of broadband in terms of variety or rate of use are able to work from home and purport to save time which results in a more comfortable lifestyle. They are more satisfied with the technology and show an interest in future‑oriented communication technologies. The resultant model adds to the existing literature and this analysis will allow various stakeholders such as government, Internet Service Providers (ISP), business consumers and public organisations to make more informed decisions on broadband infrastructure investments



1 Sep 2013