Access to the internet, on average, is less expensive than it was a few years ago, although there are notable exceptions. The fierce competition among providers served to put a virtual ceiling on rates to access a virtual world. Now, however, in tougher economic times providers are trying to come up with ways to maximize revenues, and use-based fees are becoming popular with ISP’s.
There are times when internet access needs to provide more than basic functions, as when privacy and security concerns are at a premium, and these features can cost dearly. Other places where internet access is expensive are in countries where internet service is extremely limited and/or controlled by monopolies, government or private.
- Instant Gratification – If I was a wealthy recluse who wanted to watch what I want when I want and how I want to, I might plunk down a grand for a personalized connection. Pirates with money can access movies and other downloads if they know where to look.
- Specialized Service – You and/or your company may have special requirements regarding your internet connection. Companies like Vaxxine may have the solution for your needs. Http://web.vaxxine.com/access/special/
- Privacy – There are many instances in the corporate world, as well as on the personal front, when additional privacy and security are needed for internet service. http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/28/keene-on-michael-fertik-why-people-will-pat-for-privacy/
- Turkmenistan – In Turkmenistan, the cheapest rate for monthly internet service (2GB at 64kbps) runs about $43.00, but providers are swamped, and service is extremely poor except at night. Unlimited service is available for a measly $7,000/month.
- Mini-Bar Included? – Don’t spend all your souvenir money until you finish dealing with your internet fees at this hostelry: http://emetrics.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/worlds-most-expensive-internet-access/
- Ethiopia – In a country where monthly internet access runs more than 2000% greater than the average monthly income, only 2% of the population is online.
- Shuttle Pilots – Shuttle pilots and astronauts use an intranet rather than the internet, although they can remotely operate earth-based computers to get online.
- How do you Spell R-O-U-T-E-R? – Hotel internet charges can be astronomical, particularly if you require service for more than one device. Two people with three devices each can rack up $100/day charges for the net. A portable wi-fi router and an ethernet connection may solve this problem.
- Canada – Metered usage is coming into play for Canadian internet users, and rates can absolutely skyrocket for those with multiple devices and for those who now use a lot of bandwidth.
- Aussies on the Road – Recent studies have shown that, as a group, Australian business travelers are not willing to spend any extra money to ensure their hotel practices “green” technology, but they are willing to pay extra for internet service.
Most of the cases where dramatically expensive internet access is encountered, include some out-of-the-ordinary circumstances.