You think your broadband provider is expensive, try $3,355 per month for a 1.5Mbps DSL connection. Welcome to the internet in Kazakhstan. With DSL prices like these, it's no wonder Borat left Kazakhstan behind! A new report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PDF) paints a grim picture of Internet access in Kazakhstan and shows how difficult life can be for those in poor and authoritarian countries who want to join the worldwide community of Internet users.
Consider the prices for Internet access, for one. Most users (and only four percent of the country even has access) hook up through state-owned Kazakhtelecom, a company not concerned with competitive pricing for its services. An unlimited dial-up plan costs about €82 ($111) in a country where the average monthly wage is €292 ($399). As for DSL, an unlimited 1.5Mbps connection costs €2,458 ($3,355) a month, and doesn't even included the required ADSL modem. Want a 6Mbps cable connection? It'll cost you, to the tune of €16,144 ($22,032) a month. As the OSCE report drily notes, this is more than a thousand times the price of such a connection in Western Europe.
News source: arstechnica.com