Networking

Traffic Characterization and Internet Usage in Rural Africa

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Executive Summary

While Internet connectivity has reached a significant part of the world's population, those living in rural areas of the developing world are still largely disconnected. Recent efforts have provided Internet connectivity to a growing number of remote locations, yet Internet traffic demands cause many of these networks to fail to deliver basic quality of service needed for simple applications. For an in-depth investigation of the problem, the authors gather and analyze network traces from a rural wireless network in Macha, Zambia. They supplement their analysis with on-site interviews from Macha, Zambia and Dwesa, South Africa, another rural community that hosts a local wireless network. The results reveal that Internet traffic in rural Africa differs significantly from the developed world.

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