Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Partially Free Mexico

Freedom House says Mexico is merely partially free in terms of internet, thanks in large part to the high cost of usage. (The nation's score of 32 was good enough for ninth best among the 37 nations measured, even with Kenya and South Korea.) You read a lot about the high price of Mexican utilities, but they were generally cheaper than in the States in my experience. After a cheaper six-month month rate at Megacable, I settled into a price of 588 pesos a month for internet and cable, which is just shy of $50 per month. (I'm not sure why that number remains burned in my memory.) The six-month introductory price from Comcast Xfinity is $69.99 per month for the same two services (though it comes with HBO in the latter case), or around 850 pesos. I did not have a phone for very long in Mexico and it was many years ago, but I also remember thinking it was less expensive than it would have been in the US.

The price of service as a percentage of per capita income is certainly higher than in the US, which certainly inhibits internet penetration, but that's a much more complicated problem than just the high cost of service.

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