The South African internet population is expected to surpass the 22 million mark for the first time. After reaching 20 million last year, forecasts have predicted that the country will have 22.5 million online users by the end of this year. This will mean that 40% of the country's entire population will be online by the start of 2018. The study was published by Dark Fibre Africa who said that it is likely that the increase in the number of internet users is due to affordability. Reshaad Sha, the executive director of Dark Fibre Africa, said that “internet access is becoming synonymous with economic access”, adding that “it is critical that the country prioritise the roll-out of infrastructure in underserved areas, especially outside the major metropolitan areas”.