Our customers are interested in internet access, and so in this blog we are taking a look at broadband internet pricing around the world based on a recently published data set from the UK-based broadband analysts Cable.co.uk. Each year their team of experts look at the broadband pricing packages in over 200 countries. Their latest set of pricing data, based on a review of over 3200 broadband packages, was collated between November and December 2019 and published just before the turn of the year.

Understanding the data

Critical to using any data is an understanding of what it represents and hence its relevance to the use of broadband internet to build corporate wide area networks. The Cable data has been produced by looking at consumer fixed-line broadband packages. More than 10 packages per country were analysed in over 130 of the 211 countries addressed, with a maximum of around 40 packages – as any more would have little impact on the country averages. The pricing shown is likely lower than would be used to build wide area networks, as for this we would need “business” broadband packages rather than consumer. Most ISPs offer their business and consumer products from a common infrastructure, but will charge higher prices for business offerings in return for better service response times and features such as a static IP address which is needed to run an SD-WAN overlay. However, it is a fair assumption that the landscape of consumer broadband offers in terms of price and speed would be representative of business packages available – the latter of course carrying an additional price premium.

Packages range in speed and price, the highest being typically ten times the lowest but with much larger ranges in some countries, median averages are used to minimise the impact of very high-priced packages and get a better view of typical pricing, and of course whilst local currency pricing is given for each country, conversions to US$ are used for comparisons and ranking.

Broadband average pricing variations 

By looking at the median pricing across the globe, we can notice interesting insights into broadband pricing. For example, we see that significant parts of western Europe fall into the price band of $30 to $40 per month – here we find UK, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece. Similar prices can also be found across much of Latin America (Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Chile).

The rest of Western Europe has median pricing in the $40 to $50 per month range – Germany, Benelux, Spain and Austria for example.  Scandinavia is a more expensive region in Western Europe, with Switzerland sitting at the top with a median of close to $70 per month.

However, prices fall as you travel east. Central and Eastern Europe along with the CIS countries typically see prices below $20 per month and this low average pricing continues into Asia with the massive populations of India and China also enjoying sub $20 per month pricing.

Highest broadband rates: US amongst leaders

Perhaps to our surprise, we find higher pricing in the US with a median average pricing of close to $60 per month.  Similar pricing can be found in Australia with Japan and close to $50 per month.

The really high pricing comes across the bulk of Africa – remember that this is fixed broadband internet and much of Africa is served by mobile internet access. However you could expect to pay between $60 per month (e.g. South Africa) to over $100 per month (Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, Namibia).  Exceptions on this continent would be Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt where rates equivalent to Eastern Europe can be found.

What do you get for your money?

There are of course massive variations between broadband offerings covering service levels, contention ratios, added package features such as email etc – but it is speed that has most impact on the price of broadband services, typically quoted only as download speed (with upload speeds around 10% to 20% of this). The data from this Cable analysis also uses the average speeds quoted on the packages investigated to get a view of the price efficiency or $ per Mbit/s of download speed per month.

Looking at the UK and the US for example, we see that whilst the median price is around double for the US over the UK, the median speed is around 300Mbit/s against a median speed (of packages analysed) of around 34Mbit/s for the UK.

Countries with high broadband speeds in this analysis include Hong Kong and Singapore, where your $35 to $45 per month would equate to just under 1Gb download speeds.  The low prices in China and India are associated with packages with download speeds between 30 and 50 Mbit/s.  The low prices seen in Central and Eastern Europe are a mix of high-speed services in Poland, Hungary, Rumania and Ukraine with the lower speed services across much of the CIS.

For Western Europe you will find the likes of Sweden, Portugal and Spain with the higher speeds for the money, with the afore mentioned UK along with Switzerland and Belgium offering the lower speeds for the money.

Considerations for Global Wide Area Networking

Broadband internet access is great for certain types of branch networks, small locations and as a back-up for a high-availability main link. The information in this report gives a good data-set against which to compare a global WAN footprint to get a view of the breadth of broadband options available and the indicative prices (after assuming a premium for business broadband and static IP). This can be compared against the current solution (MPLS, Ethernet or Leased-line) to estimate potential savings.  The $ per Mbit/s per month also gives a good feel for the “value for money” for broadband services in a country, to get a view on the attractiveness of a change to fixed line broadband for a domestic branch network. One thing to remember though is the cost to an organisation to acquire, manage and pay for multiple broadband links across diverse suppliers in several countries. This can at times be the dominant cost consideration when the prices of the broadband transport links are so low.

The full data set along with an interactive world map and some regional analyses can be found on the Cable.co.uk site by following this link.

Have a question? Get in touch!

Here are Brodynt we can access the more specialist prices most suitable for build of wide area networks and enable you to share in our expertise in buying and managing multiple broadband links around the globe.  We would be happy to advise on how best to move an estate onto the internet using broadband and DIA as a key enabler of network modernisation.

You are always welcome to drop us an e-mail to hello@brodynt.com and one of our Account Managers will be happy to assist you! Alternatively, engage in a discussion by leaving a comment below and don’t forget to share the article with your friends and colleagues!