A survey ranking broadband in 54 countries shows how varied the average internet connection is when it comes to speed and cost.
As has often been explored by studies and surveys, there are numerous factors behind the digital divide. From gender and age to geographical location, there are a kaleidoscope of reasons that make online access and connectivity quality an often unequal experience.
Broad difference in download speeds
A new study released by Compare the Market has examined the cost and speed of broadband in 54 countries. Looking at download speeds, Singapore takes the number one spot, followed by Iceland and South Korea. Irish download speeds are much lower, hitting an average of 56.43Mbps.
Top 10 average download speeds
- Singapore (185.25 Mbps)
- Iceland (153.3 Mbps)
- South Korea (114.31 Mbps)
- Hungary (108.78 Mbps)
- US (107.28 Mbps)
- Sweden (106.76 Mbps)
- Spain (105.03 Mbps)
- Switzerland (104.2 Mbps)
- Luxembourg (101.48 Mbps)
- Norway (98.72 Mbps)
The Netflix metric
To put those download speeds into context, Compare the Market found out how long it took each of the countries to download an hour-long TV show from Netflix. In Singapore, this would take just 16 seconds, in the US it would take 28 seconds, while in Brunei it could take as long as 3 minutes and 18 seconds. In Ireland, it takes 53 seconds on average, pipping the UK average by a single second.
Five fastest Netflix download speeds
Singapore: 16 seconds
Iceland: 20 seconds
South Korea: 26 seconds
Hungary, US and Sweden: 28 seconds
Spain and Switzerland: 29 seconds
Five slowest Netflix download speeds
Brunei: 3 minutes and 18 seconds
Bahrain: 2 minutes and 44 seconds
Turkey: 2 minutes and 40 seconds
Greece: 2 minutes and 31 seconds
Kuwait: 2 minutes and 18 seconds
The average cost of a broadband package varies a lot around the world, from just £10.29 a month in Israel to £124.11 in the United Arab Emirates. In Singapore, the monthly cost is around £40, while Icelandic residents can expect to fork out £60.56 per month. In Ireland, people pay an average £51.44 (about €58.66), while the UK is a lot cheaper at £31.27 on a monthly basic rate.
Top 10 cheapest monthly connection fees
- Israel (£10.29)
- Argentina (£12.25)
- Turkey (£12.61)
- Lithuania (£13.30)
- Poland (£14.43)
- Hungary (£14.51)
- Latvia (£14.76)
- Slovakia (£17.08)
- Czech Republic (£20.49)
- Taiwan (£20.85)
Updated, 15 February 2019 at 4.23pm: This article has been updated to include additional information on the fastest speeds and to correct a mistaken reference to Kuwait’s average Netflix download speed as 3 minutes and 18 seconds. This is in fact the average speed in Brunei.