Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Per Capita" and "Per Household" Impact on Internet Affordability

"Per capita" is an important qualifier for most economic statistics, and has direct bearing on affordabilty of fixed network and mobile-provided Internet services. 

In the case of mobile services, which normally are purchased "per user" or "per person," per capita income makes lots of sense as an indicator of affordability.

For fixed services, sold typically to "locations" or "households," a different metric is more relevant, namely, "household income." The reason is simply that, in most instances globally, households contain multiple people. 

That means "ability to pay" for at-home fixed network broadband is more a function of collective household income than per-person income. 

But even in India, per-capita income is approaching the overall range (ignoring for the moment income disparities) where internet access is a product people can afford. As the map indicates, places where Internet access costs less than 2.5 percent of gross domestic product are also the places where Internet access is most widely purchased. 

Of course, there are differences between GDP per capita, adult income per capita, household income per capita and overall income per capita. But you get the point. In one respect, we might be closer to crossing affordability hurdles than commonly assumed. 

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