It is 60 times more expensive to surf the internet in the Icelandic countryside than in urban areas. The internet connection is also considerably slower on farms compared to towns. Minister of Transport Kristján Möller said he will look into the case.
According to Jón Baldur Lorange, head of the computer department of the Farmers’ Association of Iceland, the difference in price of internet connections between urban and rural areas is 60-fold, if the price of each kilobyte of data transfer is considered, Bladid reports.
Lorange explained that farmers and inhabitants in smaller towns and villages don’t have access to an ADSL connection and have to settle for an ISDN connection where they have to pay a certain amount for every minute online. The speed is only 0.06 megabyte.
In larger towns, however, people have access to an ADSL connection with a pre-determined monthly tariff and a speed of four to ten megabytes, Lorange said.
Lorange said each kilobyte in urban Iceland costs on average ISK 1 or 2 (USD 0.02 or 0.03, EUR 0.01 or 0.02) if an ADSL connection is used, but ISK 62 (USD 0.96, EUR 0.72) in rural Iceland, where an ISDN connection is the only option.
“Something has to be done because access to the information community has become such an important part of people’s lives and quality of life. […] This is a major factor in people’s decision to move away from rural areas,” Lorange claimed.
“Hopefully the new government will try to solve this problem. We set our hopes on the minister of transport, who is responsible for this situation. He has to do something,” Lorange said.
According to Bladid, Minister of Transport Kristján Möller said he will review the situation of internet connections in rural areas next week.