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Broadband prices vary extremely across the world

broadband world
SUMMARY: Cuba has by far the most expensive broadband in the world: $1,753 per month @pingdom Tweet this

Have you ever felt that the price of your broadband is too high? We hear you. But instead of complaining, we thought we should find out where in the world we had to move to get the cheapest broadband possible.

To figure this out, we have analyzed and compiled the latest report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and can now present a close look at broadband prices for 161 countries across the world.

Cheap in Sri Lanka, expensive in Cuba

The price for fixed broadband across the world range from just over $5 per month to the unbelievably high $1,700 per month! Still, most of the countries fall in range between $5 and $60 per month.

Broadband price worldwide

Some interesting numbers:

  • The least expensive broadband is to be found in Sri Lanka, at just $5.5 per month.
  • Cuba has by far the most expensive broadband at $1,753 per month. Second most expensive is Swaziland at $875 per month.
  • According to the ITU, a high level of competition among the suppliers and an explicit aim from the government to keep the cost to a minimum can, at least partly, explain the low prices in India, Russia and Sri Lanka.
  • 12 nations have a broadband cost of $10 or lower per month.

We should point out that these prices do not necessarily reflect what a customer in the respective country would be paying for their broadband service. It’s instead a value intended to make comparisons between countries easier. Also, it is based on an entry-level broadband service.

Broadband prices compared to income

Looking at broadband prices for countries across the world is interesting, but does not tell us everything since it does not consider the income of those who are going to buy the service. To get around this problem, the ITU also lists broadband prices in relation to Gross National Income per capita (GNI p.c.).

In this comparison, Macao, in China, has the world’s cheapest broadband with a price equal to just 0.3% of the GNI per capita.

Top 10 countries (Table 1)
Country % of GNI p.c. USD
Macao, China 0.3 8.5
Israel 0.4 8.8
Switzerland 0.5 32.7
United States 0.5 20
Luxembourg 0.6 38.1
United Kingdom 0.6 20
Belgium 0.7 25.2
Japan 0.7 24.2
Norway 0.7 49.1
Canada 0.8 29.5

 

Bottom 10 countries (Table 2)
Country % of GNI p.c. USD
Niger 193.4 59.6
S. Tomé & Principe 221.3 221.3
Kiribati 228.7 383.1
Rwanda 257.8 111.7
Cuba 379 1752.7
Swaziland 399.1 874.6
Togo 405.5 165.6
Tajikistan 543.7 362.5
Eritrea 720 204
Gambia 747.4 280.3

(You can see the whole table here)

Some things we found interesting:

  • Norway has a relatively expensive broadband, at $49.1 per month. But it is still one of the top ten nations in this list (Table 1) with a price equal to 0.7% of GNI per capita. This can be explained by a very high average income in Norway.
  • Gambia, with a price equal to 748% of GNI per capita is the most expensive country (Table 2). For anyone to afford broadband in Gambia, we can just assume that the income within the country is very unevenly distributed.
  • There are 17 countries that have prices equal to 100% or more of the GNI per capita.
  • 25 countries have a price equal to 1% or less of the GNI per capita.
  • The average price worldwide, in percent of GNI per capita, is 28.5.
  • But the difference between the developing countries, at 40.3%, and the developed, at 1.7%, is very large.
  • One goal of the Broadband commission is that all countries should have a broadband price at a cost of no more than 5% of GNI per capita by 2015. In this report, only 84 countries out of 161 manage to reach that goal.

Broadband prices declining

The good news is that broadband prices seem to be getting lower and lower in all parts of the world. Three years ago, the world’s average price for fixed broadband was 115% of GNI per capita, and now it is down to 40%.

But there are som bad news to. In big parts of the world, the price of broadband is still very high. It also seems like the prices are linked to the nation’s income level, with the lowest relative prices in  countries with the highest income.

So what do you think? What is the price of broadband where you live? Let us know in the commentar below or via twitter.

Data: The fixed broadband is a monthly subscription at an entry level with a use of at least 1 GB. The connection speed in different countries may vary. 

Image top by Shutterstock



170 comments
Chirantha
Chirantha

This is really not true. In Sri Lanka the cheapest broadband package is indeed $5.5. However you only get 1GB or 2GB of Data. The cost of bandwidth is around $4 US per GB of data. Which is compared to an normal income of a person is very high. 

The world is moving on with bandwidth intensive applications and thus the situation is bitter for many Sri Lankan's because its not about obtaining broadband... its about paying the bill afterwards. I suspect that this article is written by pro-government supporters who are trying to show off a masked Lion.

In 2009 The TRC (Telecommunication regulatory body) indirectly forced ISP's to abandon unlimited packages leaving people to pay bills of Rs. 21,000 (200USD) for using 60GB of data compared to the Rs. 1800 (15USD) they paid for the same service.

Chirantha
Chirantha

This is really not true. In Sri Lanka the cheapest broadband package is indeed $5.5. However you only get 1GB or 2GB of Data. The cost of bandwidth is around $4 US per GB of data. Which is compared to an normal income of a person is very high.  The world is moving on with bandwidth intensive applications and thus the situation is bitter for many Sri Lankan's because its not about obtaining broadband... its about paying the bill afterwards. I suspect that this article is written by pro-government supporters who are trying to show off a masked Lion. In 2009 The TRC (Telecommunication regulatory body) indirectly forced ISP's to abandon unlimited packages leaving people to pay bills of Rs. 21,000 (200USD) for using 60GB of data compared to the Rs. 1800 (15USD) they paid for the same service.

krishan22
krishan22

there are way more cheaper broadband and mobile internet packages in Sri Lanka than the one mentioned aove starting from as low as $ 0.99 p.m

krishan22
krishan22

there are way more cheaper broadband and mobile internet packages in Sri Lanka than the one mentioned aove starting from as low as $ 0.99 p.m

Mel Ditt
Mel Ditt

Mew ...isso é historia pra boi dormir... Eu tinha speedy light qdo morava no brasil e pagava uns 70 reais...por 215 mb que nunca foram alcançados... Aqui minha internet é de 40 GB e eu pago R$50,00 ....incluindo tv acabo e telefone por sinal....

Mel Ditt
Mel Ditt

Mew ...isso é historia pra boi dormir... Eu tinha speedy light qdo morava no brasil e pagava uns 70 reais...por 215 mb que nunca foram alcançados... Aqui minha internet é de 40 GB e eu pago R$50,00 ....incluindo tv acabo e telefone por sinal....

Fernando Trebien
Fernando Trebien

It doesn't make much sense to me. I think it's expensive (and low quality) in Brazil and when I was in Europe (even in Norway) and also in Canada it seemed cheap and robust.

Fernando Trebien
Fernando Trebien

It doesn't make much sense to me. I think it's expensive (and low quality) in Brazil and when I was in Europe (even in Norway) and also in Canada it seemed cheap and robust.

Evelena Boening
Evelena Boening

Na OI não é o price que me amedronta é a confusão que eles fazem,

Evelena Boening
Evelena Boening

Na OI não é o price que me amedronta é a confusão que eles fazem,

Eduardo Asbahr
Eduardo Asbahr

Ok mas qual a velocidade comparada ? Eu pago mais que 16US$ !

Eduardo Asbahr
Eduardo Asbahr

Ok mas qual a velocidade comparada ? Eu pago mais que 16US$ !

playaspec
playaspec

Completely worthless article. Cost alone proves *NOTHING*. The cheapest broadband may also be the slowest, but there is absolutely no way to tell what you're getting per dollar.

playaspec
playaspec

Completely worthless article. Cost alone proves *NOTHING*. The cheapest broadband may also be the slowest, but there is absolutely no way to tell what you're getting per dollar.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith

Essa é para quem cai nas historinhas da internet que dizem que a internet no Brasil é cara....

Mark Smith
Mark Smith

Essa é para quem cai nas historinhas da internet que dizem que a internet no Brasil é cara....

Alexandra Meilhac Anderson
Alexandra Meilhac Anderson

Aqui o servico e barato em comparacao aos paises europeus,USA e Canada porem o servico e lento e pessimo.

Alexandra Meilhac Anderson
Alexandra Meilhac Anderson

Aqui o servico e barato em comparacao aos paises europeus,USA e Canada porem o servico e lento e pessimo.

João Felipe
João Felipe

Alguma vez você já sentiu que o preço de sua banda larga é muito alto? Analisamos e compilou o último relatório da União Internacional de Telecomunicações (UIT), e agora pode apresentar um olhar mais atento sobre os preços de banda larga para 161 países em todo o mundo.

Rogerio Domotor
Rogerio Domotor

Broadband works in Brazil???? No! Vivo, TIM, Claro funcionam? No! Works in Brazil, certainly not. 16USD, too expensive! Vou testar a Verizon e a AT&T nos USA, depois falo p/ vcs. Vamos ver o que é mais caro.

Rogerio Domotor
Rogerio Domotor

Broadband works in Brazil???? No! Vivo, TIM, Claro funcionam? No! Works in Brazil, certainly not. 16USD, too expensive! Vou testar a Verizon e a AT&T nos USA, depois falo p/ vcs. Vamos ver o que é mais caro.

Geraldo Magela Magela
Geraldo Magela Magela

Ele está falando sobre a guerra que a Coréia no Norte esta tentando provocar.

Geraldo Magela Magela
Geraldo Magela Magela

Ele está falando sobre a guerra que a Coréia no Norte esta tentando provocar.

Tiago Valença
Tiago Valença

Multipliquem o valor por 10, ou dividam a velocidade por 10, dá no mesmo: Só há garantia de 10% da banda contratada! For Brazil, either multiply by 10 the broadband price or divide by 10 its transfer rates: Our garanteed transfer rate is only 10% of the total speed you payed for.

Geraldo Magela Magela
Geraldo Magela Magela

Ô Roberto. Vamod parar com essa história de inglês e traduzir estas por...s para nós pobres mortais?

Geraldo Magela Magela
Geraldo Magela Magela

Ô Roberto. Vamod parar com essa história de inglês e traduzir estas por...s para nós pobres mortais?

Rogerio Kauer
Rogerio Kauer

16.9USD in Brazil? Make it 40USD for a 2Mb link

Rogerio Kauer
Rogerio Kauer

16.9USD in Brazil? Make it 40USD for a 2Mb link

Lisias Toledo
Lisias Toledo

Jomar: TWO MBPS? I'm paying that for a 1MBPS! :-(

Lisias Toledo
Lisias Toledo

Jomar: TWO MBPS? I'm paying that for a 1MBPS! :-(

Lisias Toledo
Lisias Toledo

On Brazil you can, in fact, get a low profile broadband for about 16USD. But you must sign a side contract with some other service (TV, VoIP. or both) - so you endup paying 50 or 60USD for the whole pack.

Lisias Toledo
Lisias Toledo

On Brazil you can, in fact, get a low profile broadband for about 16USD. But you must sign a side contract with some other service (TV, VoIP. or both) - so you endup paying 50 or 60USD for the whole pack.

Narayan_IT54
Narayan_IT54

I think this for entry level fixed broadband. This is the situation in Sri Lanka

Lowest 2Mbps/2GB 3US

8Mbps /25GB 11US

16Mbps 120GB 70US

They measure speeds by downloading a file from a server in USA. Always you can expect speeds above 80 percent from the advertised speed.

njeeradith
njeeradith

@Chirantha Why Broadband in Sri Lanka have been this cheap? May be due to low speed or not.

njeeradith
njeeradith

Chirantha Why Broadband in Sri Lanka have been this cheap? May be due to low speed or not.

Chirantha
Chirantha

@krishan22 Boardband packages != 3G packages... They are talking about Fixed Line connections

Chirantha
Chirantha

krishan22 Boardband packages != 3G packages... They are talking about Fixed Line connections

Chirantha
Chirantha

@njeeradith @Chirantha Did you know? An ISP gets a STM-1 (155Mbps) connection for Rs. 108,000/- per month. They sell the consumer 512Kbps connection for 1600/- per month! That's Rs. 480,000/- from the customers given they have dedicated 512Kbps!..... Yet ISP's says they can no longer provide Unlimited bandwidth connections! Oh why! Oh Why!? Its a million dollar question!

Chirantha
Chirantha

njeeradith Chirantha Did you know? An ISP gets a STM-1 (155Mbps) connection for Rs. 108,000/- per month. They sell the consumer 512Kbps connection for 1600/- per month! That's Rs. 480,000/- from the customers given they have dedicated 512Kbps!..... Yet ISP's says they can no longer provide Unlimited bandwidth connections! Oh why! Oh Why!? Its a million dollar question!