South Africa: Are Mobile Network Providers Doing Enough to Keep South Africans Connected?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease graphic.

A growing number of universities and businesses are switching to remote learning and practicing social distancing in the era of Covid-19. Obvious concerns have arisen about whether the high cost of data in South Africa will be a barrier to internet access. Many are looking to mobile network providers to lower costs while the country weathers the Covid-19 storm.

A quick scan of how other countries' telecoms providers delivered when people started to work and study from home reveals many providers did step up and tried to enable access for free, or at a massively reduced cost.

Comcast - for example - a telecommunications company in the United States, is offering its customers free unlimited data and has made its WiFi hotspots free to everyone for 60 days.

"During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet - for education, work and personal health reasons," said Comcast Cable President and CEO, Dave Watson.

The company has also promised not to disconnect internet service, or charge late fees to customers who alert them of payment issues during the 60-day period.

T-Mobile and AT&T, two mobile network providers in the US are also...

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