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UK Ranks 36th in the World for 100Mbps Broadband Affordability

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 (1:41 pm) - Score 2,643
world broadband connectivity

A new study has examined the affordability of unlimited “ultrafast broadband” (100Mbps) broadband packages from 233 of the markets biggest “fibre” ISPs across 62 countries. Overall the UK ranks a lowly 36th with consumers paying a monthly average of €39.78 for such plans, while in the Ukraine (cheapest) they pay just €5.60.

The study itself was conducted by discount firm Picodi but it’s very important to take their results with a pinch of salt, not least because the average package prices between ISPs and counties do not appear to have been weighted in the study to reflect the often huge differences in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) between countries.

The application of PPP is vitally important because there can be huge differences between countries in terms of things like taxation, infrastructure standards, size of the state and salaries. For example, in the UK the average monthly salary is around £2,300 but in the Ukraine it’s just £340. So you might well pay significantly less for a 100Mbps service in the Ukraine but that’s not a fair apples-to-apples comparison.

As such a closer comparison for the UK might be France or Germany. Unfortunately France, as well as a handful of other countries, were ruled out of the table below because the lowest plan they have available is said to be 200Mbps. Meanwhile Germany is more expensive than the UK and charges €42.44 per month for the same sort of service. The full results table can be found below.

Despite this the UK is clearly more expensive than some close competitor countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden and so forth. Many of those have a much larger coverage of Gigabit-capable “full fibre” broadband networks than we do, which is important as this tends to drive down the cost per Megabit of connectivity.

NOTE: The current exchange rate is £1 = €1.19.


The study then attempted to present the data in a different way: what internet speed can you afford for the equivalent of €20 (around £16) per month? Out of 62 countries included in the report, 20 could not be ranked (Australia, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Chile, Italy, Portugal, USA and RSA) as the unlimited fibre services for residents from major providers tended to cost more than €20.

In this table it’s noted that consumers in the UK could expect to receive around 36Mbps (roughly equivalent to an entry-level FTTC service), which will of course be based on advertised rather than real-world rates. By comparison it was possible to take 1Gbps or faster packages for this in Poland, Romania, Moldova, India, Hungary, Latvia and Ukraine. Once again though, this is of little use unless you factor in PPP.

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar A_Builder

    It is a very interesting study.

    But a bit meaningless unless you also take unto account

    -connection reliability
    -uncontended bandwidth/backhaul bandwidth
    -traffic shaping (if allowed)

    My general suspicion is that while UK copper connections don’t do too well on a speed test they are actually better behind the scenes.

    I wouldn’t trust that a real cheapo full fibre connection for €5/month can deliver much bandwidth at peak times and I’d also be sceptical about fix times.

  2. Avatar JamesP

    Don’t worry, once Labour get in, UK will be top of the table! ;o)

  3. Avatar PoorExpensiveBroadband

    Indeed, the price of broadband in the UK is ridiculous when compared to other countries. A 1 Gbps connection is sold for the equivalent of £8/month in Romania.
    Paying £36 for Sky Broadband for a 80/20 mbps connection and no other options available at the moment at my address. Waiting for 5G….

    • Avatar FibreBubble

      Average take home pay in Romania is £550/month

    • Avatar beany

      All well and good comparing wages to cost of broadband and thinking that is the issue, and thats the end of the debate, so lets look deeper shall we.

      The average wage in Finland as just one example is as near as 4,700 euros per month…

      In the UK it is
      4,600 pounds (or about 5,400 Euros check a currency converter if you want exact down to the 10’s of Euros)

      So that is 700 Euros more per month we earn (or roughly 15% more than those in Finland) Yet our broadband costs more than double per Mb??? Something not right there eh? Dig deeper…

      Or UK = 0.40 euros per MB Finland = 0.16 euros per Mb

      So we earn 15% more but pay more than twice the amount for broadband.

      Bang goes the theory of poor pay low prices and rich pay high. The pricing in the UK is horrid. No shock really because if you look at European countries be they rich or poor which actually have balls when it comes to regulation rather than just ripping people off for the sake of it (Like the UK, Germany and a few others do) it is no shock it is cheaper there.

      The same story goes for the Netherlands if you look into the figures (similar wage to Finland) still cheaper than us only not as large a difference.

      Im not being out of line either i could had made the compare worse.

      Hungary one of the cheapest for broadband, in that table. Their wage per month is 634,240 HUF or 1,600 pounds or 1,900 Euros (again do a currency check for exact to the 10’s of euros or pounds if you wish).

      So lets call it 3 times less than our wage or 1,900 euros x 3 = 5,700 euros compared to the UKs 5,400.

      Yet their broadband is 0.09 euros per Mb where as the UK is 0.40 euro per Mb.

      Or in short their broadband is as good as 4.5 times cheaper and their wage is only 3 times lower than ours.

      Someone is getting a S**T deal if you actually bother to crunch figures and its not the countries with lower monthly wages like you think. If you base on wage Vs wage and cost Vs cost it is not them getting bent over.

    • Avatar FibreBubble

      You are overstating UK average wages by around £2k a month. Uk average wages are nowhere near £4.6k/month.

      Have you actually left school?

    • Avatar Go away

      If he or rather that website has overstated UK wages then the situation of Wages VS cost of broadband in the UK is even worse than explained.

      This would also make your theory that poorer earning countries pay less for broadband even more wrong.

      As for the school remarks, that like your argument is rather infantine.

    • Avatar beany

      If you have a better website to use to compare NOT only our countries average wages but that of all those in the list in this news item please feel free to suggest it. I would be more than happy to do the calculations from that site also.

      PS: no good pointing to the ONS website which is where i suspect you may be getting your figures for the UK and then another site for another country as that will only give a singular governmental picture on the country concerned rather than data collectively.

      Given your last paragraph and its snide insult attempt though, i doubt you want or could handle any serious debate on the matter.

  4. Avatar VALODIA

    @A_builder in ukraine you can get gigabit for 10 euro. and 5eur for 100mbps is a good price. Remember they have much more stable and better connection any provider in the uk. So you wrong anyway.

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