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The global average price of broadband has dropped by a massive 50 per cent over the past two years.

According to figures from the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU's) Price Basket study, the main reason for this drop is steep price falls in developing countries, where fixed broadband costs declined by 52 per cent.

This compares with a drop of 35 per cent in developed nations.

However, it was noted that the nations with the cheapest broadband prices were all wealthy countries, including Monaco, China, Lichtenstein, the US and Australia.

Overall, it was found that people in high-income countries pay relatively little for information technologies such as broadband, while people in the poorest countries pay much more relatively.

The highest broadband prices were seen in the least developed nations, including Tajikistan, Swaziland, Uzbekistan, and Papua New Guinea. As a result, broadband penetration is very low in these countries as people are priced out of the market.

"With information and communication technologies now a primary driver of social and economic development, these results are highly encouraging," said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.

“Our next challenge is to find strategies to replicate the 'mobile miracle' for broadband, which is fast becoming basic infrastructure. Countries without affordable broadband access risk falling quickly behind."

The ITU's price basket is worked out as a percentage of average Gross National Income per capita.

A recent study by Nokia Siemens Networks also highlighted the issues of accessing affordable broadband in some nations.

It found that India was among the worst-performing nations in terms of connectivity, with weak broadband and mobile penetration levels, alongside Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya and Bangladesh.

In comparison, Sweden, the US, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK were at the top end of the Connectivity Scorecard.  

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