|African Internet usage has trebled to over 12 million since 2000, but South Africa remains the continent's dominant Internet centre, with a quarter of Africa's users. And Johannesburg-based companies are central to the Internet industry. Nine of the 12 major Internet Service Providers listed by the Internet Service Providers Association are based in Johannesburg. The Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) is the larger of two national hubs that connect the Internet Service Providers into a single network. Most Johannesburg hotels are online, and all but the smallest businesses have access, usually via a fixed line. A number of Internet cafes are available, particularly in areas where tourists congregate.|
Although there are no definitive figures for the number of Internet users in South Africa, the generally accepted figure is around 3,1 million people. The majority of the country's Internet users are concentrated in the larger cities, Johannesburg in particular.
Technology options on the local market include wireless, which is relatively new, and broadband, ADSL and ISDN, which are better established. Most new technology is rolled out first in the major centres like Johannesburg and Cape Town, before being offered in the rest of the country. Johannesburg International Airport, for example, offers wireless Internet access to anyone seated in the airport's retail and dining section.
Connectivity is likely to grow in the next few years, because of increased competition from the second network operator and from Sentech, the national signal distributor for broadcast, which now also offers wireless broadband access.