According to a research conducted by the International Telecommunications Union or ITU, worldwide internet prices have been cut down by almost 50% in the last couple of years.
Information and communication technology (ICT) as well as mobile prices have went down since 2008. Price levels have registered a drop of 18% in 2010 alone. Compared to the same period in 2008, the costs went down by 22%. Landline phone bills have also dropped by 7% during the exact same period.
The results of ITU’s 2010 study called IPB (ICT Price Basket) which were made available on May 16 revealed the fact that both fixed telephone lines and cellular services alongside broadband services became affordable in a short amount of time. 165 countries from all over the world registered price variations. Some countries from Europe and South-East Asia currently have the cheapest broadband services while other countries which currently undergo development are still trying to catch up.
“This year’s IPB figures underline the fact that pricing remains a major factor in perpetuating the ‘digital divide’ between rich and poor,” revealed ITU. It also mentioned the fact that a country’s economy and level of income is strongly related to service affordability saying that “the poorest countries pay relatively more”.
ITU suggests that even at 50% the cost of such services, they appear to be too expensive for people who are living in the developed parts of the world. According to the Union, 32 countries see an entry-level broadband service as half the average income per one month. 19 countries don’t even afford such services as costs reach the same level as the average monthly income, while some countries even show 10 times less income registered per one month than the price for broadband.
The entire report with all the details will be available in September this year. It will be published in the Measuring the Information Society Report for 2011.