The internet is so slow in some African countries that it takes a whole day to download a movie


Most countries with slow internet speeds are found in Africa, according to data from a global broadband speed league.

Speed gaps puts the five fastest countries over 40 times faster than the five slowest in the internet world.

Singapore ranks first with its broadband speed being 55.13 megabits per second (Mbps) league while war-torn Yemen comes last with average speed of just 0.34 Mbps.

The global broadband speed league research saw data collected over the course of a year until last May.

New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University’s Planet-Lab plus others were the partners involved in conducting the research

In all 189 countries were ranked and 39 African countries were part of the global ranking.

None of the 39 ranked African countries achieved average speeds above 10Mbps which the UK’s telecoms regulator, Ofcoms deems to be the minimum speed required by consumers to effectively participate in a digital society.

This research focused on fixed line broadband tests which tends to put African countries at an added disadvantage with infrastructure challenges, hence slower speeds.

However, a report by content delivery network Akamai says some African countries do much better with mobile internet comparisons. Kenya’s mobile internet speed ranking is higher than some advanced economies including the US and is 14th out of 130 countries.

The reality of slow internet speeds is crucial in several African countries with fledgling tech hubs and ecosystems. South Africa is home to the highest number of tech hubs and internet speed and access is often cited as a major limitation by startup founders.

With that aside regular startups in Africa also find difficult to plug into the digital economy.broadband

For better context, the report also measures internet speed in each country by how long it will take to download a HD movie with a size of 7.5 GB.

While it will take less than 20 minutes in Singapore, it will take more than a day in DR Congo, Burkina Faso and Gabon, the three worst ranked African countries. Although Kenya is the highest ranked African country, it will take nearly two hours, it’ll take a minimum of 18 hours in the worst ranked African countries.SomaliaA man walks past an Internet cafe in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.Ismail Taxta/Reuters


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