Global Internet Costs and What Businesses Can Do to Consider Them When Reaching Audience
Ryan Buddenhagen, May 18, 2012
We share on this blog, in many ways, but especially among those generating content here, offering each other thoughts and connecting our posts to one another. If you've read Anthony's work, you know he's a fervid reader of all things, but especially the NY Times, and he uncovered this interesting look at internet prices in various countries which started the wheels turning for me on the subject. Gracias Anthony and let's dive in.
The price of internet is no small consideration, but it largely has been in the US. We tend to brush over the expense as many people get the service as part of TV cable and phone services. But when you pull it all apart, the price differences are significant, especially when considering the download speeds that the prices bring you. Looking at the NYT graphic linked to above, it is clear that the US carries a high price range relative to speed. The price range for broadband internet packages "per megabit per second of advertised speed" in the US is $1.10 - $71.49. Israel, New Zealand, and Mexico were the only listed countries with higher prices starting prices at the lowest end of the range with $1.39, $1.56, and $4.65, respectively. The lowest ranges include Korea's at $0.21 - $1.93, Denmark at $0.48 - $3.84, Britain at $0.61 - $4.20, and France at $0.34 - $5.73.
Closer Look at US
Taking these figures a step further, the least expensive broadband plan in the US is less than only five of the other industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to a separate piece by Eduardo Porter in the NYT. The article also suggests that the growth of broadband penetration has slipped in the US as a decade ago it ranked 6th in penetration rates in the OECD countries, but now is 15th. These figures tell us that Americans do pay more and that it can price out those in the lower income brackets. In comparison, you look at France where Iliad offers plans costing half that in the US, which I looked at earlier this year with this piece.
How Businesses Can Use This Information
Clearly, there is disparity in price and what experience that price gets you in return. An additional element though is that in many countries, although the price relative to speed is cheap, there are caps to the amount of data that customers can use. Having experienced this myself in New Zealand and Australia, you realize that the price ranges relative to speed is not the only factor in the equation as the behavior can be dependent on how much data is allowed for customers.
All this impacts the way that people around the world use the internet in that is does not necessarily limit access as much as it limits the amount people use it and the amount that they download as they experience. This makes the internet a difference experience for different price points in separate places around the world, and businesses can respond to this offering different ways to engage with their customers based on any limitations on downloading that may be experienced in some markets as users are weary to use up their data.
As such, business can look to engage through social media without pushing an abundance of downloadable content, or better, not making that the sole means to interact with the brand. SEO and media companies assist businesses in their strategy to engage with their audiences and grow their brand online through various internet marketing means including providing quality content that they can consume without using up all their data.