South Africa has been ranked the 27th overall most internet inclusive country out 75 in the world and number one in Africa.
This is according to the Inclusive Internet Index report commissioned by Facebook to The Economist Intelligence Unit, a comprehensive index of internet inclusion for 75 countries.
Countries are ranked overall from one to 100 across four categories:
- Availability: This category examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage.
- Affordability: This category examines the cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace
- Relevance: This category examines the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.
- Readiness: This category examines the capacity to access the Internet, including skills, cultural acceptance, and supporting policy.
Singapore, Sweden and the US ranked first, second and third respectively.
On average, 94% of the population in the 75 countries included in the Index live within range of a mobile signal. However, only 43% have access to a 4G signal. As a result, predominantly in the developing world, people are using the internet less than they would if it were cheaper and faster. The infrastructure for access may exist, but connectivity must be improved in order for the internet to be globally inclusive.
At 27th place, South Africa is the highest ranked African country in the index and is in the middle of the 18 upper-middle-income nations.
“The country’s policy environment scores especially highly. Relevance is the only category for which it is not in the top-two highest-ranking African countries, reflecting its relatively low score for local content,” the index reads.
When broken down according to each category, South African ranked 30th for availability, 18th for affordability, 43rd for relevance and 21 for readiness.
“We hope this new data will help move us closer to an inclusive internet by informing the design, implementation, and evaluation of internet policies across the public and private sectors,” Facebook said.
You can see all the rankings on The Inclusive Internet.