Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How Much Should One Pay For the Internet?

The internet has arrived [ok it did so ages ago] and it’s faster than ever. So what is the cost of the internet? Better yet what should you be willing to pay for the internet? 30, 50, 70,100, 300 dollars? The premise is; the higher you pay the faster service you receive. Therefore you are willing to pay more for Verizon Fios than its dial-up package. Fair and true assumption…
As Africa scrambles to catch up with technology, the lack of competition and infrastructure have created a market where the price of the internet exceeds the value it provides to the users. I recently did some research on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Uganda. Their prices made me giggle and then saddened me.
Above is a comparison of two ISPs one in Uganda and one in the United States. Two variables are being considered speed vs. price.
Notice the disparity in pricing with regards to the speed offered for services. In all instances all Uganda Telecom’s prices were higher than Verizon Wireless.
So I would like to pose a few questions:
a) How can we improve speed and cost of the internet in countries like Uganda?
b) How much are you willing to pay for the internet?
c) What is value for money with regards to the internet? Is a 64kbps connection less valuable than a 1Mbps?