ICTP Science Dissemination Unit has been monitoring and testing internet connectivity to 45 universities in Africa for the past 12 months. Using at tool called PingER Africa, they track real-time network performances in terms of response time (for a succession of pings) and packet loss percentages.
The 45-second video embedded below are their results.
If this type of data interests you, you should read their full report titled, Scientific Measure of Africa’s Connectivity (PDF – .64Mb). It’s an incredibly interesting report on their methods and findings.
The new millennium is beginning to see significant advances in Africa’s quest for greater connectivity. Nevertheless, although a substantial increase in the rate of expansion of networks is taking place, the ITU statistics on teledensity show that although there are 57.3 Internet users per 100 inhabitants in Sweden, 57 in the United States, and 34.7 in Italy, there are just 0.5 in Mali and 0.2 in Niger. The Internet tariff for the same type of connection is 1.1% of the Gross National Income in Sweden and in the United States and 1% in Italy, whereas it is 289% in Mali and 683% in Niger. The same differences are reflected by the Internet performance.
One other organization to pay attention to is AfrISPA (African Internet Service Provider Associations), run by Eric Osiakwan. They have been hard at work trying to build relationships between ISPs in different African nations, building an association big and strong enough to make serious change happen.
(hat tip Riyaz and Brough)