Low Income Countries Pay More for Slower Internet, New Report Reveals

Access to the internet is about as important as access to any other essential utility, such as water and electricity. In spite of the fact that this is the case, internet access is not distributed evenly across the world. It turns out that people living in low income countries actually have to pay more for internet than might have been the case otherwise, and they also tend to get slower speeds than their counterparts in more developed nations.

This data comes from Surfshark’s latest Digital Quality of Life index, and it reveals that low income countries need to work 4.1 times the rate of higher income countries, and their internet is 3.3 times slower. For context, this means that someone living in a low income nation would have to work 12 hours in order to get 42 Mbps internet. In developed and high income countries, just 3 hours of work can be enough to obtain internet that can reach speeds of 120 Mbps.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that mobile internet appears to be somewhat more equal according to the findings presented in this report. In lower income countries, 2 hours and 37 minutes of work will get you internet that can attain 32 Mbps speeds, while in richer nations, 1 hour and 41 minutes of work is enough for 96 Mbps internet.

While the divide is smaller, it can still be harmful because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up leaving low income nations behind. However, simply living in a high income country does not automatically grant you access to internet that can attain the fastest speeds with all things having been considered and taken into account.

For example, South Africa is a member of the high income club, but its average internet speed of 70 Mbps is half that of other countries in its group. On the other side of the spectrum, low income countries can have surprisingly high internet speeds. The Philippines is a great representation of this, since despite being a low income country, the Southeast Asian nation has thrice the average internet speeds of other low income countries, or 119 Mbps to be precise.

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