International Internet Cafes: Type Fast!

There used to be a time when costs were gauged around the world based upon the cost of a Coke, Big Mac, or glass of beer.  These were the universal indicators I often ran across while traveling.  When I heard, “Dude, a beer is $12 in Stockholm,” this told me that Sweden was an expensive country (and that obnoxious frat boys probably weren’t visiting there). 

Today, a new gauge has arisen: an hour of online service in a cyber café. 

Wired Magazine has thoughtfully ranked the cheapest and most expensive places to plug into the internet around the world.

Ironically, however, they have not posted the chart online.  So, you’ll have to pick up the May 2006 issue for the full details.  In the meantime, some highlights.

The most expensive 60 minutes of surfing is New York City at $12.80.  They cheapest is Lima, Peru and La Paz, Bolivia for just $0.38. 

Since average wages vary so wildly around the world, Wired also measured online fees based upon percent of “GDP per capita per day.”  When taking this into consideration, things look pretty ugly for surfers in Kinshasa, D.R. of the Congo at 68.4% ($1.50 per hour).  Thai surfers have it the easiest with just 1.7% ($0.39 per hour).  As a point of comparison, New York’s $12.80 per hour is 11% of an American’s “daily purchasing power per capita.”  You better hope it’s a DSL line at that rate.