Broadband Prices Still Too High for Many around the World
As super-speed internet services like Google Fiber roll out in towns and cities across America, broadband is still a distant dream for people around the world. A new report by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has found that a broadband internet connection still costs about half an average month’s income for millions of people.
Around the world in developing and emerging countries, approximately 2 billion people live their lives on less than $2 a day throughout the 46 countries studied by the A4AI. According to the UN Broadband Commission, for broadband internet to be affordable, an entry-level connection must be priced below 5% of the average monthly income, which is totally unattainable in such countries. Instead, the price of a basic broadband connection in countries such as Malawi, Zimbabwe and Yemen is often over 40% the monthly income.
One of the key points made by the A4AI in their reports is that this kind of unattainable price for internet connectivity is neither useful to the emerging internet markets of the country, nor economically efficient. The countries studied by the A4AI were included in the first ever Affordability Report, where they were ranked according to broadband affordability on average within the country. Topping the broadband affordability list were countries such as Brazil and Morocco, where rapid progress is being made to innovate technological growth thanks to regulated prices and forward-looking government policies.
The A4AI is backed by global sponsors such as Google, UK Aid, US Aid, and the Omidyar Network, all of whom have banded together to help provide better internet connectivity to disadvantaged communities around the world.