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UK broadband among the cheapest and fastest in the world

Broadband in the UK is, if not the best in the world, at least in the top-third, according to a study of broadband pricing and availability. 

It found that going online in Burkina Faso – if you have the misfortune to live there – costs more than anywhere else in the world. The monthly price weighs in at an eye-watering average of $954.54 per month, according to a study of global broadband prices published today.

This is partly due to the already ready poor wired infrastructure in the country along with a lack of competition. 

The hugely popular narrative that the UK has awful, expensive broadband simply isn’t true

Equally surprising, perhaps, Iran comes out as the most cost-effective place to live in terms of average monthly subscription prices, coming in at just $5.37 – in neighbouring Iraq it costs ten times as much. 

The study of broadband pricing across 196 countries around the world was conducted by BDRC Continental and Cable.co.uk between August and October 2018, taking in more than 3,351 broadband packages.

Interestingly, six of the ten countries where broadband is the cheapest are parts of the former Soviet Union, where the internet had initially been slow to take off in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

Sub-Saharan Africa was the worst region of all, with 31 of its countries having the most expensive internet in the world. 

In Western Europe, Italy has the cheapest internet, where an average broadband package costs $28.89 per month. Germany is second ($34.07), followed by Denmark ($35.90) and France ($36.34).

The UK is not only in the top fifth fastest, but also in the top-third cheapest in both the world and Western Europe

The UK is the 8th cheapest in Europe, with prices averaging at $40.52 per month. 

In the Middle East, Syria has the cheapest internet subscription prices, despite its civil war, with prices averaging $12.15 per month. However, Saudi Arabia ($84.03), Bahrain ($104.93), Oman ($147.87), Qatar ($149.41) and the United Arab Emirates ($155.17) were far more expensive. 

As for Central America, Mexico has the cheapest broadband, where prices average $26.64 per month. Panama is the most expensive, at $112.77 per month.

Canada has the cheapest internet in North America, with prices averaging $54.92. It easily trumps the US, where prices average $66.17 per month. 

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said: “In the UK there can be no doubt there is still a significant number of people who feel they are paying too much for a service that’s less than adequate.

“However, the hugely popular narrative that the UK has awful, expensive broadband simply isn’t true.

“These figures, along with the global speed measures we released in August this year, show the UK is not only in the top fifth fastest, but also in the top third cheapest in both the world and Western Europe.

He added: “Our data demonstrates that when it comes to broadband, both the national marketplace and the infrastructure that underpins it are imperfect no matter where you live.

“With a healthy, open marketplace offering very cheap broadband deals to everyone, and so-called ‘superfast’ speeds to almost 96% of homes, the UK is doing considerably better than the majority of countries around the world.”

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