Rich pay least for broadband, study finds
Despite claims that the UK has some of the cheapest broadband in the world, new research suggests that the UK is only 21st in terms of broadband affordability.
New data from market researcher Point Topic shows that broadband prices can be over a thousand times higher in terms of percentage of annual per capita income at purchasing power parity (ie comparing like for like) in poorer countries., Point Topic looked at more than 2,000 tariffs for the study.
Using the tariff for a year’s supply of the slowest available broadband service, the Swiss pay just 0.07% of their annual income for a year’s broadband, while Keyans can pay almost 80% of their annual income for theirs, said Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson.
Britons, who pay 0.65% of their income for their most basic service, are 21st of the 64 countries studied.
“The analysis allows us to see how much of an average yearly income in each country would be needed to pay a year’s subscription for the cheapest option available. The results gap between rich and poor, the haves and have nots in broadband terms is revealing,” said Johnson.
Higher broadband penetration was in everyone’s interest, he said. “Governments gain revenue, businesses gain competitiveness and individuals get access to a wealth of benefits online.”
Johnson said mobile and satellite technologies offered access quickly and easily, but data caps and high overage costs meant take-up would be limited. Even the richest nations would have to subsidise 100% access, he said.