Broadband prices vary extremely across the world

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


  1. pingdom where did you get your results for zimbabwe and whats the package you consider “internet” paying $250 for 2mbps adsl here right now

      1. pingdom still downloading…. i’d contest Zim’s average cost for broadband being only $30 though need to see how they worked it out

      2. pingdom ok its accurate if you want 256k broadband and 1gb of data – probably not accurate today when you consider social media/videos etc

  2. Pingdom is really a great tool, which I love to use. Considering the speed as another factor would have given some meaning to the chart.

  3. $16.9 for broadband in Brazil is ridiculous and barely is true for the slowest plans, I pay more than $40 for just 10 Mbps

  4. For 8/1 Mbps broadband in Bosnia I pay about 15€, highest available is 16 Mbps for home use…
    Does someone know what average speed is in Sri Lanka?

  5. I’m from Sri Lanka and I’m really excited seeing I actually pay LESS for the internet.
    But this cheap price means less service.
    Average price we pay for a 1GB of data transfer (both up and down, all protocols) is around $2.10 (Rs. 279) but I’ve seen far better deals with Sprint and Verizon USA

  6. Seriously, this is one of the least useful charts I have ever seen, if they were giving us the cost/MB or GB then it would be quite handy. It would also be much more useful as an interactive map with more granularity and source links for each country.

  7. Cuba has the least prices ,Why ,because they have Socialism ,and Fidel deserves ,kudos for everything ,he had done for Cuba !

  8. @Edin Musić 
    In Sri Lanka We Don’t have unlimited broadband The package on this site mention has 2Mb Down and 512 kbps upload and 1.5 Gb peak and 1 Gb off peak usage. Don’t forget you have to pay additional phone line too.

  9. I am paying about 20 dollars for a 10 gb limit broadband.This figure of 6 dollars appears wrong.Yes I had such a connexion but could not watch any video on that.

  10. Sri Lanka has cheapest broadband at $5.5/month ITUU:#Broadbandd prices vary extremely across the world”

  11. Sri Lanka may have the lowest broadband prices. One need to be careful in these comparisons, as the data transfer speeds and the limit on monthly volume of data need to be taken in to consideration.
    The price quoted are for very slow speed of 0.5 kbps and only 2GB of data transfer per month.

  12. ITU i hope you compile The data per mbps as the entry level varies by 400 times. So the comparison is misleading.

  13. I have left ITU because of this misleading statistics.  I cannot accept that you compare price of 256 K with a price of 100 M?  Totally misleading….

  14. I can’t really trust this data since you could never get a broadband plan in Brasil for less than $30, and that would be more like 3G speed broadband. I would say average would be more like $40 or $50. I myself pay more like $80 to have decent speed (15Mb).Another fact that should be relevant is that probably in those expensive countries, average is more than I have, like 20 or 50Mb, unlike Brazil, India and Africa where average can be a miserable 1 or 3Mb!

    1. pingdom sorry for not checking sources. But I must say this data is not accurate, though I’m optimistic with broadband reaching more ppl.

  15. Would like to see a more insightful research.. It should show average price for Mbps.. That way we would really compare the same thing on all countries.. Otherwise we are comparing bananas and oranges…

  16. That would be interesting indeed, Mário, and might be something we’ll look at how to do. However, if you look at our comment earlier in this thread, you’ll see that the numbers actually do offer a comparison between countries, not just the one you mention.

  17. 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.

  18. To be more clear, then would need to compare speed too… BR speed sucks with that price…

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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….

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. Why do Australians pay per mb for downloads compared to most other countries that do not? For e.g. I have friends in the Philipines that only pay for their speed, they choose a speed that suits them but they get unlimited download ability, same with my brother who lives in Dubai, he also only pays for his connection speed not megabytes or usage, it’s all unlimited broadband. In Australia they are always talking about getting faster speeds, however I found the faster speeds annoying and frustrating. When you have limited usage for e.g. 50 gig per month 12 gig per week between your whole family to use, the last thing you want is it running out and copping high costs for going over or even worse getting slowed down to dial up speeds(remember dial up) Now my problem is that if I go to watch a video on YouTube on higher speeds it buffers the complete video before I even know if I want to watch it or not, at that point you have already paid to watch the video because it has completely buffered which counts toward your download limit. I hope this makes sense? So you see High speeds are of no advantage to countries that pay per mb. I have my internet slowed down so that when I click play on a video, the buffer stays just ahead of the part I’m watching, so that if I decide to stop the video, I have not paid for the whole thing to be buffered/Downloaded. Many countries have unlimited broadband and we suckers on the Island at the end of the world seem to not even realise we are one of the few that pay per mb. This practice has to stop as it does not cost anything to produce a mb therefore it’s only the speed that costs these companies and that is all they should charge for. In Australia we get Charged for our speed and our usage, how is this fair?

  30. I live in Hyderabad,India and i pay around $52 for 6 months with a speed of 100Mbps for 360GB worth of downloads.Think that is fair enough

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and not published in real time. All comments that are not related to the post will be removed.