The Internet. We all need it; the faster and cheaper the better.
Mobile connections keep us moving, but the fastest speeds are still to be found via fiber optic cable.
Now, a study looking at the cost of broadband by UK-based cable.co.uk asserts that the cost of getting connected in Laos is among the world highest.
Five most expensive packages in the world
“The five most expensive consumer broadband packages on the planet are found in Burkina Faso ($651.72), Laos ($818.13), Namibia ($1117.87), Mauritania ($1368.72) and Papua New Guinea ($1849.09),” the report stated.
“The expense comes from a combination of extremely low take-up (no economy of scale) and the fact that in most cases the price you pay will go in large part to actually building a physical line to your property since few already exist.”
“These ‘works costs’ rise exponentially the further your abode sits from each country’s main urban centres.”
So while residents of Vientiane capital and other urban conurbations can (and do) expect to enjoy much cheaper deals, Laos’ overall countrywide ranking was hindered (as per usual) by persistent geographic and economic factors.
These include its relatively sparse yet still significantly rural-dwelling population alongside persistent infrastructure, financial and skilled human resource deficits that are being addressed to varying levels of success.
The study did not look at the take up of mobile internet services, which have proved cheaper and more suitable to the conditions as found in much of rural and remote Laos.
Cheapest Connections in Surprising Places (With Caveats)
According to the report, the five cheapest packages can be found from Syria ($2.42), Ukraine ($2.16), Iran ($1.87), Venezuela ($1.68), and Kyrgystan ($1.27).
Before packing your bags to these varied destinations in search of savings, a few words of warning:
“When it comes to cheapest, though, don’t expect a fast (or even in some cases, reliable) connection.”
“For the most part, with Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Kyrgystan all offering relatively slow speeds and somewhat limited availability.”
“Ukraine is the exception here, with broadband that is not only cheap, but also fast – its cheapest package offers a very serviceable 20Mbps.”
The Need for Speed
It’s not all hard news for those of us with connections to and in Laos.
The nation went up 28 places to 98th spot on the average worldwide broadband speed league published by the same group earlier this year.