Cisco survey sees broadband connectivity as a necessity in SA, not a luxury

  • Cisco recently published the findings of its Broadband Survey, in which the reliance of internet connectivity locally was unpacked.
  • It found that 87 percent of South Africans rely on broadband in order to work from home.
  • It also found that 78 percent of South Africans now view broadband as critical national infrastructure.

IT and networking specialists Cisco recently unpacked the findings of its Broadband Survey, and while many South Africans who are on online for most of the day know how important broadband connectivity is, the statistics shared in the survey demonstrate just how critical is has become.

The survey looked not only at South Africa, but 11 other countries too, including the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UAE, and the Netherlands. If the total 21 629 workers surveyed, 2 000 of them hailed locally.

Looking closer at the findings, Cisco highlighted the fact that remote or hybrid work has very much become the norm in South Africa, particularly in industries where in-person presence is not essential. Here, the survey found that six out of 10 local respondents are now working from home, with 87 percent of respondents now needing internet access in order to work while home.

“This represents a dramatic year-on-year increase of 20%, signalling the popularity of the trend in SA,” Cisco pointed out in a release sent to Hypertext.

This is but one of the reasons why broadband connectivity is deemed to be a necessity in South Africa, and no longer the luxury it was a little over a decade ago.

Smangele Nkosi, general manager, Cisco South Africa.

“Against the backdrop of digital transformation and remote and hybrid work trends, broadband plays a critical role globally, and impacts us both personally and professionally. Connectivity is related to factors such as reliability, security, and even sustainability. In other words, how broadband impacts us and the world we live in,” emphasised Smangele Nkosi, GM for Cisco South Africa (pictured above).

Broadband connectivity has become so important locally that 78 percent of those surveyed in SA view it as critical to national infrastructure.

We explored a 5G router from rain earlier in the year, but in our experience, connectivity became an issue whenever loadshedding hit, and with SA’s energy woes persisting, the prospect of using such a solution full-time for our home connectivity needs seems untenable at this stage.

Regardless of our own experience, however, 63 percent of respondents use some form of mobile technology in order to connect to the internet from home, including using their smartphones or a 4G/5G mobile router.

The other element unpacked from the survey, and particularly pertinent for South Africa, is the rising costs associated with not only broadband connectivity, but connectivity in general.

On this front 46 percent of respondents indicated that the increase in the cost of living had impacted broadband spending, so much so that 26 percent of people opted to switch to lower-cost broadband and 20 percent cancelling streaming service subscriptions as a result of rising costs.

“Furthermore, 26% said they could not afford to upgrade to more reliable, fast, and secure broadband, while 16% said they struggle to pay for it outright,” the release highlighted.

The Cisco Broadband Survey for 2023 clearly shows that while broadband connectivity has become critical, there is still a disconnect when it comes to accessing it an affordable price.

[Image – Photo by Jonathan on Unsplash]


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