Is Broadband Speed a Barrier to Internet Use in Rural Communities? An Assessment of Mobile Infrastructure and Internet Use Habits in Urban and Rural Nigeria
19 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2018 Last revised: 25 Sep 2018
Date Written: March 16, 2018
Developing countries are faced with a unique challenge in addressing digital inequality. Although expanding access and coverage remains a priority, the rapid advancements in technology continuously creates a gap to be filled in areas with coverage. Addressing this challenge requires an understanding of the relationship between infrastructure, adoption, and use of the Internet. Using two datasets; July 2017 billing records of 260,000 customers retrieved from a major mobile carrier in Nigeria, and survey data collected from 200 respondents in Nigeria in January 2018, this paper investigates how the relationship between Internet use and demographic/industry factors vary across urban and rural users in Nigeria. The results show that users with high-speed Internet consume significantly higher data, irrespective of their location. Older users were found to consume more data and are likely to spend more time online. Location and gender were found to impact the activities and the frequencies of the activities carried out online.
Keywords: Internet usage, broadband, Nigeria, rural, urban, digital divide
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