Barriers to broadband market development in rural Zambia: A case study of Lusaka rural broadband market

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Mwanankuwa, Ristone
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University of Zambia
The popularity of the Internet has resulted in the demand for telecommunications networks that are capable of delivering high-speed data transfers which can meet the communication needs of today’s users. However, the rural community in Zambia has continued to suffer from social exclusion since much of the broadband infrastructural deployment has mostly been concentrated in urban areas. This research investigates the Barriers to Broadband market development in the rural district of Chongwe located in Lusaka province. From the research, it was observed that Chongwe has very scanty broadband access infrastructure owing to its low population density and high acquisition and operational costs. About 60% of the respondents suggested that the high cost of end user equipment such as Laptop computers and smart phones is a hindrance to broadband market development in rural areas. In Chongwe, only 9% out of the 136 respondents own Desktop computers, 21% own laptops and some own other types of gadgets for internet access. It was also noted that about 50% would adopt broadband connection if it addressed local needs such as education, healthy and agriculture. It is recommended that broadband service providers, government and other stake holders should consider helping the rural community be taken on board and have access to broadband services. A more non-profit municipal approach where broadband is delivered alongside traditional utility services such as electricity and water would be able to address some of the barriers to broadband market development in rural Zambia. This will not only make broadband available but will also make it affordable to most of the rural residents.
Master of Engineering in ICT Policy, Regulation and Management
Broadband communication equipment industry--Zambia , Broadband communication systems--Zambia