Where in the world has the cheapest broadband? Report finds unlikely answer

21 Jan 2020

Image: © Pixel-Shot/Stock.adobe.com

A report looking at the average broadband price in 206 nations has revealed where it costs as little as $6 per month.

If you plan on getting fixed-line broadband in Eritrea, you might be shocked at how much it costs. According to a new report published by Cable.co.uk, broadband in the east African nation costs, on average, $2,666.24 per month for a fixed line, making it the most expensive in the world.

The data was compiled from more than 3,000 packages in 206 countries, revealing the wide disparity in availability of broadband due to prohibitive costs. In comparison to Eritrea, Syria offers the world’s cheapest broadband at an average cost of $6.60 per month.

It is worth noting, however, that Eritrea is so expensive because it would involve the construction of a fixed line directly to your home. Meanwhile, war-torn Syria’s price is currently the cheapest due to the collapse of the Syrian pound, and connections only have an average speed of 0.9Mbps.

Elsewhere, four of the top five cheapest packages come from eastern Europe including Ukraine ($6.64), Russia ($7.35), Romania ($8.15) and Belarus ($9.87).

Ireland was found to be one of the most expensive nations for broadband in Europe, coming in 123rd place in the world rankings. The report found that it costs, on average, a little more than $57 (€51) each month.

A world map showing the average price of broadband per country.

Click on the image for a larger, interactive map. Image: Cable.co.uk

Average price falling globally

Within the confines of western Europe, France is the cheapest with an average price of $27.81 per month, followed by Germany ($28.74), Andorra ($32.65) and Italy ($33.28).

A notable disparity in pricing is seen in North America, where Canada ($34.86) is the cheapest and is 50 places above the US ($50) in the global rankings.

The mountain-top state of Bhutan is the cheapest place to get broadband in Asia – and sixth globally – with an average monthly cost of $10.42, followed by Iran ($10.50) and Vietnam ($11.23). On the opposite end of the scale, Brunei is the most expensive in Asia at $157.02 per month.

Sub-Saharan Africa fared worst overall with almost all of its countries in the most expensive half of the table. Equatorial Guinea ($259.38), Burundi ($283.73) and Mauritania ($694.63) join Eritrea among the most expensive countries on the continent, and all sit among the 10 most expensive countries in the world for broadband.

The authors of the report noted that while the cost of packages has increased and decreased substantially in different parts of the world, the average price overall has fallen by just under 20pc since the end of 2018, from $58.22 to $46.59.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic