RocketNet, a leading South African Internet Service Provider (ISP), has partnered with fibre network operator, Vuma to lower barriers of entry to internet access by slashing prices at a time when the global economy is extremely volatile.
According to the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as of December 2021, an estimated 2.9 billion people have never used the internet. That equates to an estimated 37 per cent of the world’s population having never connected to a digital world. Ninety-six per cent of that population lives in developing countries including South Africa.
“What’s important is getting citizens onboarded by lowering barriers to entry. Once online, a world of opportunity opens for education and business. Internet access brings with it access to opportunity. We have a passion to get people connected and partner with companies who share this value,” said Warren Thomas, CSMO at RocketNet.
RocketNet, in partnership with Vuma, is providing free installations and bundling the activation of services for all homes yet to be connected to fibre. This bundling will save customers an up-front fee of R3,000, a cost which prevents many households from connecting to fibre internet services. Additionally, RocketNet will issue new installation customers up to 30% discount on monthly subscriptions for 6-months upon sign-up.
Currently 40% of the Vuma network is connected to the internet. The remaining 60% will benefit from the partnership between RocketNet and Vuma.
“We are slashing prices for the next six months and paying it forward at a time when the global economy is extremely volatile. Consumers need all the help they can get, especially when goods and services have become so costly. We believe the more we do to get citizens online, the greater the role we can play in ensuring our economy moves in the right direction.”
The UN target for affordable internet is two per cent of monthly income for one gigabyte of data. It’s determined that this cost will provide basic internet access for most. However, currently only the wealthiest 20 per cent of South Africans can afford that. For the poorest 60 per cent, basic internet access costs between six [per cent] and 21 per cent of their monthly income.
RocketNet believes strong collaboration between telecommunications partners is necessary to accelerate the affordability and adoption of internet access for South African citizens because internet access is vital to the healthy future of the economy.