Skip to navigation
Latest News

$1,300 per month broadband crippling developing nations

Dollars

By Reuters

Posted on 23 Oct 2009 at 14:15

Developing countries risk missing out on the benefits of IT because of their lack of broadband infrastructure, according to a UN agency.

Access fees of up to $1,300 per month are depriving countries of broadband access and the possibility of building up offshoring industries, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) claims in a report.

It also prevents people from tapping into all the advantages of mobile phones, whose use is exploding in poor countries. "The narrowing of the digital divide remains a key development challenge," said UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Petko Draganov.

"What is known as the broadband gap for example is becoming a serious handicap for companies in many poor countries," he added at the launch UNCTAD's Information Economy Report.

Companies and consumers are 200 times more likely to have access to broadband in developed countries than in the poorest Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the report shows.

$1,300 per month broadband

The cost of broadband access varies widely - over $1,300 a month in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Swaziland against less than $13 in Egypt or Tunisia.

Broadband is essential for offshoring industries such as call centers and back offices, which many developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia wish to develop and expand.

Such industries are likely to expand despite the economic crisis because they enable companies in rich countries to cut costs, UNCTAD notes.

Broadband allows consumers to make better use of their mobile phones - rapidly overtaking computers as the ICT tool of choice in developing countries.

People in poor countries are using mobile phones for banking, to check markets and monitor the weather - reducing the need for travel and boosting productivity, UNCTAD notes.

As a result mobile phone usage is growing. In Africa there are already 20 times more mobile subscribers than fixed lines, and India added almost 100 million new mobile subscribers in the first seven months of this year.

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

Take your pick

These high costs are either due to (a) lack of technical knowledge (unlikely) or (b) massive and endemic corruption in these areas (which is unlikely to change).

By Lacrobat on 23 Oct 2009

But you have also true success stories in Africa

Not to name Rwanda's rocketting internet technologies engagement, very fast compared to some US states infrastructure. You're right about other african countries yet. But you should note that a huge optic fiber cable is now operating in East Africa (inauguration took place weeks ago) which was till then the poorest part of the continent regarding internet infrastructure.
Lacrobat, you still continue to look down at poor countries as if they were the "badest" around. Clichés are so hard to get rid of. How would you qualify wealthy nations who permitted a very big corruption which name is "subprimes or whatsoever, nations who are putting the burden upon their own population to bail out those "nasty" offsprings? How would you honestly qualify them?

By volunteer67 on 24 Oct 2009

But you have also true success stories in Africa

Not to name Rwanda's rocketting internet technologies engagement, very fast compared to some US states infrastructure. You're right about other african countries yet. But you should note that a huge optic fiber cable is now operating in East Africa (inauguration took place weeks ago) which was till then the poorest part of the continent regarding internet infrastructure.
Lacrobat, you still continue to look down at poor countries as if they were the "badest" around. Clichés are so hard to get rid of. How would you qualify wealthy nations who permitted a very big corruption which name is "subprimes or whatsoever, nations who are putting the burden upon their own population to bail out those "nasty" offsprings? How would you honestly qualify them?

By volunteer67 on 24 Oct 2009

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

advertisement

Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest ReviewsSubscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.