Countries are colour-coded by the price of broadband recorded there. You can see at a glance that CIS, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe are the cheapest regions. Meanwhile, North America, Oceania and the Caribbean make up the most expensive regions in the world.
Hovering over an individual country will bring up its associated data. This includes country name, its ranking out of the 219 countries measured, the average price of a broadband package in that country, and the number of packages that were included in the data to find said average.
Countries where no fixed broadband services are available to buy for the home, where home broadband is not widely available, or where the currency is unstable have been excluded from the research. From one year to the next sometimes countries drop out simply because obtaining pricing information from outside the country has become impossible. For example, this year the Russian Federation dropped out for this reason.
This year's excluded countries are: Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Central African Republic, Western Sahara, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, British Indian Ocean Territory, Kiribati, North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Malawi, Niger, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, South Sudan, Chad, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vatican.
Cable.co.uk also undertakes annual tracking studies covering the cost of 1GB of mobile data in 233 countries, average broadband speeds in 220 countries, and the price of electricity in 230 countries. In August of 2020, we also released an in-depth report on how COVID-19 lockdown periods have affected global network speeds.
Here is a quick look at some of the highlights unearthed in the study.
Despite poor telecommunications infrastructure and improving take-up of mobile broadband services, where available, fixed-line broadband remains cheap in Sudan, if not particularly affordable by the general population.
In second place, broadband in Kazakhstan has become increasingly cheap, despite falling take-up of fixed-line services. The market is expected to take another upturn within the next few years, especially when it comes to 4G/LTE.
Although penetration of fixed-line broadband is far lower than comparable European countries, there remains therefore enormous room for growth, and the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers in Moldova continues to grow steadily.
With over 85% of the population connected, Belarus offers cheap internet to all and also puts a heavy focus on its evolving IT sector. Speed is also on the increase due to investment in pure fibre networks.
Here we take a closer look at the five most expensive and five cheapest countries in the world in terms of average broadband monthly cost.
Here we take a closer look at the average prices across 13 global regions. Each of the numbers in the following diagram is the mean price in USD for each of these regions, ordered by more expensive to cheapest.
27 countries were measured in the Asia (ex. Near East) region, which has an average price of USD 35.38. This global region covers a vast expanse and as such pricing runs the full length of the table from top to bottom. The cheapest packages were found in seventh-place Iran (USD 9.35), 8th-place Nepal (USD 9.46), and 10th-place India (USD 10.11). The most expensive countries in the region were Bhutan (USD 120.38), Timor-Leste (USD 107.33) and Hong Kong (USD 80.51).
The Baltics, comprising three countries, ranked entirely within the top 90, coming in fourth-cheapest overall regionally, with a regional average price of USD 23.59. Latvia fared best in 24th place overall, with an average price of USD 15.44. Lithuania followed, in 38th place overall with an average price of USD 18.97. Estonia trailed in third position, in 84th place overall and an average of USD 36.37 per month.
The Caribbean is a region of island nations where the average cost of fixed broadband tends to be high. The average package price is USD 81.95, with most countries featuring in the more expensive half of the table. The cheapest countries in the region were Cuba (USD 29.51, 66th), Dominican Republic (USD 38.70, 89th), and Martinique (USD 42.47, 97th), while the Turks and Caicos Islands (USD 199.00, 216th), the British Virgin Islands (USD 179.00, 213th), and the Cayman Islands (USD 156.39, 211th) were the most expensive.
Most Central American countries found themselves sitting in the middle of the league table. The region as a whole has an average package price of USD 42.89, but there is a wide price difference across the area. Mexico is cheapest (USD 31.05, 68th), followed by Ecuador (USD 35.28, 80th), and Bolivia (USD 36.09, 83rd). Meanwhile, the most expensive average prices in the region are found in Honduras (USD 55.00, 127th), El Salvador (USD 54.99, 126th), and Panama (USD 52.57, 122nd).
Of the 12 CIS nations in the table, with the exception of Turkmenistan, all can be found in the top 50 cheapest in the table, making it the cheapest region in the world for broadband. The region had an average monthly price of USD 14.99. The cheapest nations were Kazakhstan (USD 5.11, 2nd), Moldova (USD 7.03, 3rd), and Belarus (USD 7.34, 4th). In comparison, the most expensive countries in the region were Turkmenistan (USD 45.80, 109th), Tajikistan (USD 23.85, 49th) and Armenia (USD 16.84, 29th).
There are 14 qualifying countries in the Eastern Europe region, all of which are in the top half of the table, with one (Romania) making it into the top ten, and 11 others in the top 50. Overall the region averages USD 19.22 per month, making it the second cheapest region in the world. The cheapest three were Romania (USD 7.57, 5th), Bulgaria (USD 12.71, 16th) and Kosovo (USD 12.76, 17th). The most expensive three were Slovenia (USD 42.54, 98th), Czechia (USD 24.04, 51st), and Montenegro (USD 23.41, 48th).
The 15 countries in the Near East measured for this year's broadband pricing league span the entire table. The average price for the region is USD 51.77. The cheapest countries were Turkey (USD 13.17, 18th), Lebanon (USD 18.53, 35th) and Syria (USD 25.22, 53rd). The most expensive were the United Arab Emirates (USD 111.21, 198th), Oman (USD 93.30, 190th) and Saudi Arabia (USD 88.32, 186th).
The six countries in Northern Africa all feature in the cheapest half of the table, with three countries in the top 40. The average price in the region is USD 22.57. The cheapest was Egypt (USD 9.67, 9th), followed by Tunisia (USD 14.53, 21st), and Libya (USD 18.68, 36th). The most expensive was Senegal (USD 39.56, 91st), followed by Morocco (USD 32.47, 71st) and Algeria (USD 20.51, 42nd).
Four countries were recorded in Northern America, and all of them sit in the bottom half of the table. The region as a whole has an average price of USD 104.33, making it the most expensive region in the world. Canada was cheapest (USD 58.14, 136th), followed by the United States (USD 59.99, 146th) and Greenland (USD 114.19, 199th). Bermuda was the most expensive in the region (USD 185.00, 214th).
Of the 15 qualifying countries in Oceania, most were in the bottom half of the table. The region has an overall average price of USD 90.80. The cheapest in the region was New Caledonia (USD 32.49, 72nd), with New Zealand in second place (USD 50.81, 119th), and Australia (USD 53.93, 125th) in third. The most expensive in the region was Christmas Island (USD 146.53, 210th) followed by Solomon Islands (USD 139.09, 209th) and Samoa (USD 135.18, 208th).
The 11 countries measured in South America span from the upper to the lower end of the table, with a regional average price of USD 60.24. The cheapest broadband in South America can be found in Colombia (USD 14.38, 20th), Argentina (USD 16.84, 30th), and Paraguay (USD 19.48, 39th). The most expensive packages on average are in Suriname (USD 269.44, 218th), the Falkland Islands (USD 134.38, 206th), and French Guiana (USD 59.06, 142nd).
44 countries were measured in Sub-Saharan Africa, most of which sit in the bottom half of the league table. The average cost per month in the region is USD 75.50. Going against the trend were Sudan (USD 2.30, 1st place, cheapest in the world), the Republic of Congo (USD 16.82, 28th), and Eswatini (USD 19.50, 40th). At the other end of the table, the most expensive was Burundi (USD 383.79, 219th, the most expensive country in the world), followed by Zimbabwe (USD 210.00, 217th) and Democratic Republic of Congo (USD 193.46, 215th).
The 29 countries measured in Western Europe span the middle to the lower end of the table, with none in the top 50 and two in the bottom 50. The regional average price of USD 50.87 makes it the seventh cheapest of the 13 global regions overall. The cheapest in the region was Malta (USD 27.41, 59th), followed by Italy (USD 28.69, 64th) and Portugal (USD 31.67, 69th). The most expensive was Norway (USD 87.36, 185th), followed by the Faroe Islands (USD 83.59, 179th) and Iceland (USD 78.04, 170th).
Downloadable versions of the data set (.xls), the original press release and the research methodology (.pdf)
The full data set can be downloaded here.
If you wish to see the original press release for this research, you can download it here as a PDF.
Our research methodology and notes on how to interpret the data can be downloaded here as a PDF.