By Matthew Campbell, head of SME and FTTH at SEACOM
The internet has delivered some of the world’s greatest technological developments. It is now a ubiquitous source of information and communications, making it indispensable. The United Nations recently announced that internet access is a basic human right, which highlights its importance in the modern era.
The internet has allowed millions of people to keep their jobs during the pandemic, however, it’s not just a vital tool for business. Most of what the internet has to offer is entertaining; imagine a world without memes, cat videos, viral recipes and online gaming.
10 surprising facts that you may not know:
- In 1974, the word ‘internet’ was first used as a shortening of the term ‘internetworking’. At the time, there were several internets, as they referred to collections of linked networks.
- Rhodes University received the first South African IP address in 1988.
- THE internet emerged in 1989 after Tim Burners-Lee wrote the code for the first web browser, called WorldWideWeb. He also created the standards for HTML, HTTP and URLs. The world also got its first internet service providers (ISPs) at the same time. In the USA, the first commercial dial-up internet provider, called ‘The World’, started in 1989.
- In 1990, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers granted South Africa the country code top-level domain .za.
- South Africa’s internet user base grew from 2.4-million in 2000, to 5-million in 2008, to 12.3-million in 2012. In January 2021, there were 38.1-million users, which is almost 60% of the population. By contrast, Africa’s average internet penetration is just under 40%.
- Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system was launched by SEACOM in 2009. The 17 000 kilometre cable connects African countries (South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Djibouti etc.) to the worldwide internet.
- In 2017, China had 765-million people connected to the internet. India had about 391-million internet users. This means that Asia accounts for almost half of the world’s active internet users.
- In South Africa, Gauteng is the province with the most internet users (72.2% of the population is connected). Limpopo is the least connected province, with 42.4% of people with access to the internet.
- The average fixed broadband download speed in South Africa, as of May 2021, is 46 Mbps. This is a 35% increase from just one year ago, when the average download speed was 34 Mbps. As fibre infrastructure and capacity improve, this number will continue to increase rapidly.
- The most popular website in the world is Google. Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with 2.8-billion monthly users.
The internet is a dynamic service that grows and changes every day. More and more people are getting connected every day, which makes the world more educated and interconnected. It’s incredible to think about what the internet will be like in just a few years’ time. For more information about our fibre offerings or to get a quote for an internet upgrade, please contact us today or check if we’re connected to your address.