• Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

According to the latest statistical analysis by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), the share of people's incomes spent on fixed broadband and mobile Internet services increased globally last year, in parallel with upticks in demand and usage compared to 2020.

Fixed broadband services saw the highest jump, with prices increasing by 8% last year. This meant fixed broadband became less affordable for many users, with relative prices climbing from 2.9% of gross national income (GNI) per capita in 2020 to 3.5% in 2021. The price of mobile broadband services also increased slightly, from 1.9 to 2% of GNI per capita worldwide.

Affordability gaps have also persisted over the past year with fewer economies now meeting the affordable cost target of 2% of monthly GNI per capita for entry-level broadband service, as set out by the United Nations Broadband Commission.

Consumers in low- and middle-income economies typically paid five to six times more, relative to their income, to use ICT services than consumers in high-income economies did in 2021.

At the regional level, users in Africa paid more than three times the global median price for mobile broadband services, and over five times the global median for fixed broadband.

“These findings are a warning sign, and significant improvement is needed as the Broadband Commission's 2025 target date for achieving global broadband affordability edges ever closer," said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director of ITU's telecommunication development bureau. “The past few years have proven that connectivity is vital. As we move to post-pandemic recovery, we need to make connectivity affordable for everyone to ensure that we leave no one behind in this digital era."

Pin It