The last two years have triggered new Internet usage habits across South Africa, and the country’s townships have been no exception.

Vuma’s 2021 Fibre Reach Survey indicates that considerably more homes are upgrading to fibre internet in these communities. In addition, more people are now streaming their favourite content and opting for a fixed internet fee in 2021 compared to the previous year.

The survey reveals that almost all surveyed township residents (96%) now understand the benefits of upgrading to uncapped high-speed fibre internet, contributing to this technology’s high uptake. In addition, most residents (90%) see the value they’re getting from their fibre internet as a much more affordable pre-paid internet option.

“Our most recent survey shows that more people across South Africa’s township communities realise how this technology can revolutionise how they access their favourite entertainment without interruption and save money by spending less on mobile data,” says Lianne Williams, marketing director at Vuma. “The increase in fibre-connected homes in these areas also shows how much value this solution is adding to people’s lives by allowing them to save more for the things their families need.”

According to the survey, which assessed the fibre internet usage of more than 33 000 respondents, unlimited internet for a fixed price was the number one reason for 68% of respondents upgrading to fibre. This was followed by 62% of users who purchased it to stream their favourite TV platforms and 46% who said their decision to buy fibre was because mobile data was too expensive.

In addition, 29% of the respondents said they decided to upgrade to fibre because they wanted to work from home, while 27% said they upgraded because their previous internet connection was not fast.Results indicate a significant increase in the awareness of fibre internet in these communities, contributing to the considerable fibre migration. For example, in 2020, half of the respondents said they learned about fibre primarily through online sources, while in 2021, 45% said they learned about fibre from a friend or family member.

“What makes this high fibre adoption in these communities so exciting is that people are only scratching the surface of what they can do with their fibre connection,” says Williams. “For instance, in addition to streaming their favourite shows, entrepreneurs can run their businesses online, tech-savvy users can build smart homes, and families can ramp up their security with WiFi cameras.”

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