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ITU Surveys Global Broadband Prices

Every year since 2008, UN telecoms agency the ITU maps out a world of, more or less, falling broadband prices in its flagship report, Measuring The Information Society.

Cheap internet access powers the digital economy, by encouraging people to try out different services and spend more time online.

While common in richer countries, affordable broadband is rarer in emerging economies.

Price dynamics, however, are changing fast.

Globally, prepaid mobile data prices have tumbled, from an average of US$23 for 500MB in 2013 to US$13 just two years later.

Prepaid mobile broadband is now within reach for many people in APAC, at less than 2% of gross national income (GNI) per capita for 500MB across much of the region.

Low-priced high capacity mobile broadband is also possible, as shown by Korea, where data allowances topping 30GB cost less than US$5 per month.

Fixed networks meanwhile tend to be more expensive, although entry level plans in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam still come in at less than 2% of GNI per capita.

These markets remain the exception rather than the rule. Nonetheless, fixed broadband starting to become more affordable in Asia’s largest markets China and India, at 3.5% GNI per capita and 5.1% GNI per capita respectively for entry level plans.

In Southeast Asia, the picture is more uneven.

Our slideshow below has more, comparing pricing by US dollars and purchasing power parity (PPP) as well as GNI per capita.

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