Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].
The price of the average broadband Internet connection around the world has been reduced by more than half in the last two years, according to research conducted by the International Telecommunications Union. This, however, doesn’t necessarily represent affordability as even at half the price, the service is still far beyond the pockets of average citizens living in developing countries.
The annual study compares and measures fixed telephone, mobile cellular and fixed broadband internet services affordability as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 165 economies around the world.
Fixed broadband prices have fallen drastically over the past two years; however, relatively speaking, the richest countries in the world have the most affordable broadband connections while high-speed Internet is well out of reach for the majority of consumers living in developing countries. This underlines the fact that pricing remains a major factor in perpetuating the ‘digital divide’ between rich and poor.
The report adds that in 32 countries designated by the UN as Least Developed, the monthly price of an entry-level fixed broadband subscription corresponds to more than half of the average monthly income. In 19 of those countries, a broadband connection costs more than 100% of monthly GNI per capita. And in a handful of developing countries the monthly price of a fast Internet connection is still more than ten times monthly average income.
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