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Sub-Saharan Africa has the most expensive broadband prices

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Sub-Saharan Africa has the most expensive broadband prices in the world.

This is according to a report by Cable.co.uk, which analysed data from 3 095 fixed-line broadband packages in 206 countries between 28 November 2019 and 8 January 2020.

The 2020 Global Broadband Pricing Report reveals vast disparities between rich and poor nations.

It says war-ravaged Syria offers the world’s cheapest broadband, with an average cost of $6.60 per month.

The East African nation of Eritrea is the most expensive place in the world to get fixed-line broadband, with an average package price of $2 666.24 per month.

Sub-Saharan Africa fared worst overall, with almost all of its countries in the most expensive half of the table.

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) was the cheapest in the region, coming in 34th overall with an average package price of $21.73.

Equatorial Guinea ($259.38), Burundi ($283.73) and Mauritania ($694.63) join Eritrea as the most expensive countries in the region, and all sit among the 10 most expensive countries in the world.

Falling prices

SA ranks number 101 out of 206 countries with an average cost of $44.77 per month.

“The price of fixed-line broadband globally continues to fall, while speeds continue to rise,” says Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk.

“In our worldwide broadband speed comparison, released in July of last year, similar disparities were apparent to those seen here. The countries with slow, patchy broadband infrastructure that supplies only a fraction of the population tend to be the most expensive. Likewise, those with exceptional, often full-fibre infrastructure supplying the majority of the population tend to be the cheapest, if not in absolute terms, certainly on a cost-per-megabit basis.”

Three of the top five cheapest countries in the world are found in the former USSR (Commonwealth of Independent States, including the Russian Federation itself) with an average package cost of just $7.35 per month.

Conversely, the US has the most expensive broadband in the world, coming in 119th place with an average monthly package cost of $50.

Within Western Europe, France is the cheapest, with an average package price of $27.81 per month, followed by Germany ($28.74), Andorra ($32.65) and Italy ($33.28).

The UK came in sixth cheapest out of 29 Western European nations (and 71st cheapest worldwide), with an average package price of $15.90 per month.

However, due to lower average speeds compared to much of Europe, it fared far worse in terms of value for money, coming in 23rd of 29 countries in Western Europe, and 81st in the world, with a cost per 1Mbps of bandwidth, per month, of $1.07, the report says.

In the Near East region, Howdle points out war-ravaged Syria came in the cheapest with an average monthly price of $6.60 per month (and ranked first overall), with Saudi Arabia ($82.85), Qatar ($109.87), United Arab Emirates ($115.97), Bahrain ($145.89) and the Yemen ($2 466.67) providing the most expensive connectivity in the region.

Top 10 cheapest

According to the report, Bhutan is the cheapest country in which to buy broadband in Asia (as well as sixth-cheapest globally) with an average package price of $10.42 per month, followed by Iran ($10.50) and Vietnam ($11.23) – all three rank among the top 10 cheapest in the world.

Timor-Leste ($57.33), Maldives ($ 88.53) and Brunei Darussalam ($157.02) provide the most expensive package prices per month in the region.

Twelve of the 13 countries studied in Oceania were found in the most expensive half of the global table (New Caledonia being the only exception).

Generally, though, larger landmasses such as Australia and New Zealand are cheaper than smaller islands states, says Howdle.

Palau ($89.98), Cook Islands ($92.12) and Vanuatu ($95.25) are the most expensive in the region.

Mexico remains the cheapest country to buy a broadband deal in Central America, with an average broadband package cost per month of $33.15. Belize is the most expensive with an average package price of $62.54 per month.

In North America, Canada offers the cheapest broadband on average ($34.86), coming in 50 positions ahead of the US globally ($50). Greenland provides the most expensive packages in the region with an average price of $163.68 per month.

Saint-Martin (France) offers the cheapest broadband in the Caribbean, with an average package price of $24.65 per month, with the Cayman Islands ($150.07), British Virgin Islands ($179), and Turks and Caicos Islands ($310.08) at the most expensive end both regionally and globally.

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