Ireland moves up the table in a study analysing the cost of broadband worldwide.
Ireland has improved its ranking in a new study by Cable.co.uk which analyses the cost of fixed-line broadband in 219 countries and territories worldwide.
With an average price of €42.91 a month for a fixed-line package, Ireland was 107th cheapest globally, up from 137th position last year.
Despite being only mid-table, the cost of broadband here is still cheaper compared to a few years ago. According to the same study the average price was €51.50 in 2019 for example.
The study analysed data from 3,703 fixed-line broadband deals in 219 countries worldwide between 2 January and 1 March 2023 with 29 deals being measured in Ireland.
The results in detail
Despite poor telecommunications infrastructure, Sudan tops the rankings. The average broadband package here costs just $2.30 a month or just over €2. However this is partly due to the collapse of the Sudanese pound against the US dollar in recent months. And given wage levels in the war-torn African nation, a broadband package is still not particularly affordable by the general population!
Kazakhstan comes in second place, where the average broadband package costs $5.11 a month or around €4.75.
Rounding out the top three is Moldova, where despite a low level of fixed broadband penetration, the average cost is just $7.03 a month or about €6.50.
Spare a thought for those living in Burundi though. Here the average package will set you back a staggering $383.79 per month or around €350, making it the most expensive country in the world by far.
Within Western Europe, out of the 29 countries and territories analysed, Malta comes out cheapest, with an average broadband cost of €25.75 per month, closely followed by Italy (€26.95) and Portugal (€29.75). The UK came in sixth cheapest (and 76th cheapest worldwide), with an average cost of £28.42 per month, or around €33.
Ireland was pretty much in the middle of the table, coming in at 107th cheapest out of 219 countries and territories worldwide, and 13th cheapest within Western Europe.
The price of a broadband deal here ranged from €22.50 to €68.33 a month - proof if ever that shopping around can help you save money!
The United States is one of the most expensive developed Western nations for broadband, coming in at 146th place overall, with an average package costing $59.99 per month or about €55.
If good quality, cheap broadband is your thing, then Sub-Saharan Africa is definitely the place to avoid. Of the 44 countries in the region that were included in the study, most ended up in the most expensive half of the table - the exception being Sudan. The expense largely comes down to the political climate in the region, warfare, extremely low take-up among consumers (meaning no economies of scale) and the fact that in most cases the price you pay will go in large part to actually building a physical line to your property since few already exist.
On the flip side, the Commonwealth of Independent States (a regional intergovernmental organisation in Eurasia) is the cheapest region for broadband. With the exception of Turkmenistan, all countries in the region are among the top 50 cheapest places for broadband. The cheapest nations were Kazakhstan ($5.11, 2nd), Moldova ($7.03, 3rd), and Belarus ($7.34, 4th).
Unlike previous years, the price of broadband worldwide hasn't gone down compared to the previous year but has remained largely static.
Speeds, however, continue to increase, meaning although consumers aren't getting lower prices they're getting a better service.
Cost of broadband worldwide
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Cost of broadband in Western Europe
You can download the full data set, along with further insights, a detailed research methodology, and various graphics and interactive tools here.
Not just about cost
When it comes to broadband price is just one feature. Arguably, what’s more important is the speed. It’s all well and good having broadband that’s cheap as chips but if your connection is too slow, then is it even worth it?
Well thankfully the report takes this into account by calculating the cost of fixed-line broadband in each country per megabit per month to get a better gauge of value for money.
On this metric Ireland fares a lot better, coming in at 66th best value worldwide, and significantly ahead of the UK in 104th place, meaning although the cost of our broadband is average, the speeds on offer tend to be faster.
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Commenting on the findings of the research internationally, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said:
It is not altogether too surprising that the most advanced, developed nations tend to have some of the most expensive broadband. After all, earnings are higher, and investment and rollout of new technologies tends to be ahead of the curve. Or so one would think.
It is interesting, however, that the cheapest broadband in the world tends to be in Eastern Europe and CIS nations. These countries tend to have some of the most advanced infrastructure (high percentage full fibre coverage), and are somehow able to offer it to users at very low prices.
In a way it obliterates the notion that regions such as Western Europe and North America pay more because of the cost of rolling out new technologies, and actually points more readily to the idea that people in these countries are made to pay more simply because they can be.
Not happy with the price of your broadband?
How does the cost of your broadband measure up in comparison? If you’re not satisfied, it might be time to shop around for a better deal.
Have a look at some of the most common questions we get asked about the switching process and take a look at this list of 7 factors to consider when assessing your broadband options.