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Broadband Budget Busters

Jeff Baumgartner

If you believe everything in the blogosphere, you might come to the conclusion that the United States is pathetically behind the rest of the world when it comes to both broadband speeds and pricing.

Well, you'd be only partly correct, as it turns out.

While the U.S. still trails some countries, including South Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands, in these areas it could be worse... much, much worse, according to a nifty analysis in the September 2007 issue of Wired that shows, on average, how much it costs consumers for every 100 Kbit/s they get from their service provider. (I'd link you directly to it, but it's available only in print, apparently. If you have the pub, you can find it on page 60-61.)

In the U.S., consumers pay about 49 cents per 100 Kbit/s each month -- equal to about 0.01 percent of the average monthly salary.

At Borat's house in Kazakhstan, expect to pay $52.68 -- about one fifth of the average monthly salary there.

But it's even worse in Saudi Arabia ($571.82 per 100 Kbit/s). Wired reports that only 0.1 percent of the population there has a high-speed connection, but those who do pay about 58 percent of the average monthly wage for DSL.

Move to Japan if you want to get the best broadband deal on the planet. There, DSL or cable-fed high-speed services average 6 cents per 100 Kbit/s -- 0.002 percent of the average monthly salary.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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