KATE THOMPSON DAVY: Free data or data-free? Mobile ads increase data costs, which the poor cannot afford
Turning #DataMustFall on its head provides another option
I’ve officially reached the age of someone who unironically uses the phrase “the kids today”. This is a devastating realisation, but I am pushing through my personal pain to tell you the kids today don’t know the gut-deep panic of accidentally opening the browser on your late-90s cellphone. That sinking feeling, and simultaneous rush of adrenaline as you push the cancel key 15 times, knowing that even as that clunky early-internet page slowly loads you’re using XYZ bytes of data, and your phone bill is going to make you cry.
For most middle-class professionals that’s a purely vintage scenario. Sure, data is still a cost, but it’s a manageable one, especially with bundles and Wi-Fi at home and the office. Still, unless you’re naked-emperor-level out of touch, you’re likely to be aware that the cost of data remains a huge barrier to internet use for the average South African...