South Africa: Lower Data Costs Critical to Boosting Education in SA

opinion

Bringing down the cost of data will not only make life easier for South Africans when it comes to communicating, but it will also benefit education by further democratising access to information.

This week, the Competition Commission made a major announcement regarding forcing large mobile networks to cut their data prices by between 30-50% in the next two months or face prosecution.

After the #datamustfall movement, this is the most serious development yet in making the internet more affordable for all South Africans.

Recent research released by broadband market analyst firm Cable.co.uk revealed that SA ranks at just 143 out of 230 countries when it comes to affordable data costs.

Lower costs will therefore not only make life easier for South Africans when it comes to communicating, but it will also benefit education by further democratising access to information.

However, lowering data costs should be just the first step in leveraging the internet to make quality education more accessible.

Here are four further steps we can take to ensure that lower data costs make a real difference.

Making data free for learning

Local mobile networks should also be encouraged to make data costs free for specific e-learning websites.

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