africa.slow: The last continent without fast, easy and cheap internet access

Posted in: Digital Divide at 28/08/2011 20:53

Sierra Leone's single largest link to the internet sits on a ridge in the west of the capital, Freetown. Behind a red wall topped with razor wire several satellite dishes point skyward. The surrounding district is called Wilberforce, after the 18th-century British politician who campaigned against the slave trade. However, the digital connection maintained by Airtel, a mobile-phone company, is not free: it costs $89,000 a month.

Sierra Leone, a poor west African country, has no fibre-optic link to the outside world. Its internet users rely on satellite bandwidth. The International Telecommunication Union says this is also true of the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Liberia, São Tomé and Príncipe and the Seychelles.

To read this report in The Economist in full, see:

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