Canadian Broadband Among Most Affordable

John Lister's picture

Israel and Canada have the world's most affordable broadband according to a newly-published study. The rankings take into account earnings rather than just the raw broadband price.

The study, published by Surfshark, also found that the parts of the world with the most comparatively expensive broadband also had the worst service. (Source:

The overall rankings take into account the prices for the cheapest fixed-line broadband package in a country plus the cost of 1GB of mobile broadband data. The researchers then compared these sums to average earnings in the country. Note that while the report doesn't confirm this, it appears the researchers were looking at monthly fees for fixed-line broadband.

Overall, Israel had the best affordability ranking, followed by Canada and Azerbaijan, while Columbia, Honduras and Nigeria were the least affordable. For entire continents, Oceania came out top with broadband being five times as affordable as Africa.

Pinch Of Salt Time

Naturally such figures need a degree of skepticism. For example, the accuracy of pricing data could vary across different countries, while the affordability rating could also vary depending significantly depending on whether the wage figures are based on average earnings across the population (as used in this study) or minimum wages, and how evenly incomes are distributed in a country.

The figures certainly varied dramatically. The report says the average Canadian can afford the cheapest fixed-line broadband with seven minutes work compared with 52 minutes in the United States and almost 10 hours in Mexico.

Meanwhile the time to earn enough to buy 1GB of mobile Internet is listed at seven minutes in the US, six minutes in Canada and 27 minutes in Mexico.

Comparative Costly Service Slow

The report also found a link between how affordable broadband is and how fast average speeds are. That makes sense in some ways as the slowest broadband is in countries with poor Internet infrastructure. That can mean the costs of developing networks get passed on to customers. (Source:

It should be noted the earnings figures in the study are based on take-home (post-tax) pay. That could affect the results as in some countries tax revenues help subsidize or expand broadband availability and reliability.

What's Your Opinion?

If you crunch the numbers, are you surprised how long it would take you to earn enough for a month's basic broadband or 1GB of data? Are these figures useful or is there too much variation to make them reliable? Would you have expected broadband prices in different countries to be more closely related to average earnings?

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beach.boui's picture

Like health care, U.S. citizens for more for an essential service and get less service/quality than other countries. Americans are getting screwed from all directions.

rhcconsulting_14541's picture

I looked at the pricing of the two local broadband carriers (Telus and Shaw) and noted that their lowest pricing was $90/month (for 24 months then $105/month) and $100/month (for 24 months then $110/month).

I wish I was making $100(US$79.52) every 6 minutes. That's supposed to be an average?