We as South Africans are quite accustomed to complaining, especially about Telkom. And while our complaints usually have some form of merit, it will do us good to spare a moment of silence for the nation with the highest internet costs in the world, Turkmenistan.
The former eastern bloc country boasts a telecoms monopoly like our own country, theirs in the form of TurkmenTelekom. As reported by AFP
, the company recently for the first time started offering a high-speed, uncapped internet solution to the public, with previous solutions all incurring bandwidth restrictions like many of our own.
The unlimited solution will however cost much more than all your limbs combined on the black market, coming in at a whopping $6821 per month, and that's US dollars. The new tariffs were posted on TurkmenTelekom's website
The “high-speed” offering that the company is offering is also very slow compared to speeds around the world, coming in at only 2 048 kilobytes per second (2 Mbps). Comparatively South Africans can run a 4 Mbps connection for around R1000 per month.
Other connection options available to Turkmen include a 64 kbps connection for $213 per month, while the cheapest connection in the country costs $43 per month, but gives users only 2 GB of bandwidth.
The per capita GDP in Turkmenistan is just over $616 per month according to the CIA World Factbook
. And as recently as 2008 the country's authoritarian government allowed only businesses to install internet access, with the first public internet cafes only appearing in 2007.
So the next time you find yourself waiting a few days for Telkom to convert your line, just be thankful you aren't in Turkmenistan.