The latest data on broadband pricing from the Alliance for Affordable Internet — a Web Foundation initiative — provides critical insight into progress to bring down the cost of internet access in the developing world.
Despite five years of declining data costs relative to income, the average cost of 1GB of mobile data is 4% of average monthly income across the countries we study, remaining well above the UN’s ‘1 for 2’ affordability target: 1GB for no more than 2% of average monthly income.
This dataset measures broadband prices in 95 low- and middle-countries across Africa, the Americas and Asia. We look at the USD price and price relative to average income across six mobile data bundles: 100MB, 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB.
- Across 95 countries, the average cost of 1GB mobile data fell from 4.6% to 4% of income between 2019 and 2020, a drop of 13.7%, but still double the UN’s affordability target.
- More than half of countries studied are yet to reach ‘1 for 2’, meaning almost one billion people live in countries where basic internet access remains unaffordable.
- While costs are highest in Africa, the continent has seen the most improvement of any region, with the average cost of 1GB dropping by a third since 2018, now at 5.7% of average income.
- Asia, the only region that meets ‘1 for 2’ continues to see costs come down, while average costs in the Americas have plateaued with 1GB at 2.7% of average monthly income.
- 1GB is increasingly insufficient to meet people’s needs, but larger data packages are out of reach for many with a 2GB package currently stands at an average of 5.7% and a 5GB package priced at 9.9% of average monthly income.
Read more analysis of the data and explore the data at a4ai.org.