Britain one of the most expensive countries in world for broadband, claims report


The UK is ranked 73rd for broadband cost in the world, analysis from Broadband Genie has found.

A high-speed internet connection costs £30.84, which puts the UK behind the likes of Portugal, Singapore, Austria, Japan, Finland, and other economic powerhouses such as China, France, India, Brazil, and Germany.

Looking into Europe, the UK has the 9th most expensive broadband for overall cost. Not only do Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, and Germany have cheaper, more affordable broadband, their infrastructure is quicker too.

The full study examines the relationship between the cost of a high-speed broadband connection (60Mb) and the average wage in each country. The average salary in the UK is £2,166.06 a month. On average, Brits pay 1.42% of their salary on broadband.

The study found Hong Kong to have the most affordable broadband, where residents pay £17.93 a month, 0.73% of their income. The least affordable broadband can be found in Turkmenistan. Here, the average cost of a monthly broadband contract is a whopping £287.53, 93.26% of an average income.

Globally, the UK is placed 22nd for broadband affordability, on a par with New Zealand, Qatar, Japan and Australia.

Analysis of G7 countries tells a similar story. Italy and Japan both have cheaper and quicker internet. In North America, the United States and Canada have similar affordability to the UK, but are leagues ahead when it comes to speed.

While 22nd in the world may not seem terrible, it isn’t great either. The UK benefits from decent salaries, standing at 23rd highest in the world, over double the average of £1,026.67.

However, 1 in 5 people in the UK live in poverty and there is little to support the households that will be feeling the cost of living squeeze more than anyone else.

Currently, the majority of ISPs offer broadband social tariffs for people on benefits. But this support is only available for a minority and the take up of these contracts remains low.

As a result, it’s been reported that one million people disconnected their broadband connection in the last year because they couldn’t afford it.

Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie, comments: 

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like our broadband will be getting more affordable anytime soon. Customers had to absorb a 14% increase in their broadband bill this Spring, and wages are failing to keep up with inflation.

“We have to acknowledge businesses face the same challenges with rising costs. To see a significant fall in broadband contract prices, we would need intervention at the Openreach wholesale level for providers. However, this is unlikely to happen.

“The rise of social tariffs has been a success story but plenty more needs to be done. The lack of awareness about these discounted packages among many customers who need them the most, remains a large blot on the industry’s copybook.”

View the world broadband availability study from Broadband Genie.


Chris Price
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