Broadband News

Japan is the cheapest place for broadband

The OECD has published a large paper looking at the communications industry and one part of the report ranks countries by the price of an entry level broadband connection. The table of thirty countries ranked by the cost of basic broadband connections is shown below:

Rank Country Price
1 Sweden $10.79
2 Denmark $11.11
3 Switzerland $12.53
4 United States $15.93
5 France $16.36
6 Netherlands $16.85
7 New Zealand $16.86
8 Italy $17.63
9 Ireland $18.18
10 Finland $19.49
11 Japan $19.87
12 Luxembourg $19.99
13 Norway $20.01
14 Australia $21.10
15 Austria $21.11
Rank Country Price
16 Germany $21.85
17 Belgium $22.43
18 Canada $23.16
19 United Kingdom $29.00
20 Slovak Republic $31.50
21 Czech Republic $32.44
22 Poland $33.08
23 Korea $35.51
24 Turkey $35.56
25 Greece $36.35
26 Hungary $36.45
27 Iceland $37.18
28 Portugal $37.44
29 Spain $45.14
30 Mexico $52.36

The BBC News also has a report on this latest OECD report (the OECD report is available as PDF document at The research does not take into account bundled deals, such as Talk Talk and Sky where the price of the broadband is inclusive. Japan works out the cheapest at just 11p per Mbps, this is so cheap because of the competition in Japan and availability of high speed VDSL and fibre based services running at up to 100Mbps.

The report does appear to not include the LLU provider Be in its price per Mbps (Mega bits per second) comparisons, as they work out at just £1 per Mbps ($2), rather than the $3.62 in the report. Of course £1 per Mbps assumes you are getting the full rate connection, which with xDSL products is dependent on distance from the exchange, but should apply to all countries still using DSL based technologies.

One thing worth pointing out is that the BBC item could give the impression that 100Mbps or fibre based connections are the standard connection in Finland, Japan, South Korea and Sweden, just as in the UK there are wide variations in services available depending on where you live. The UK does suffer from a lack of services beyond the 24Mbps mark that are affordable for the consumer. The best you can do is ADSL2+ which is available to around 70% of households, with cable broadband from Virgin Media at 20Mbps available to around 45% of households.

In the UK we need to remember that just because the incumbent in the form of BT will not be offering ADSL2+ until 2008, that it has been available to a proportion of the population since September 2005. Providers such as Talk Talk are using ADSL2+ on their LLU connections but are currently capping speeds to 8Mbps, while some such as Bulldog and Sky cap at 16Mbps, UK Online set their cap at 22Mbps and Be are even exploiting ADSL2+ variants to give higher upstream speeds.

Overall the UK does not fair well compared to our European neighbours, though judging a broadband service just on price is not always the best way. Price can be useful in deciding a shortlist of possible providers, but things like whether a provider uses a premium rate number for support calls, what the providers usage policies are like and whether others with the service are happy are very important.


Re[Overall the UK does not fair well compared to our European neighbours]
Once again it just proves rip off britian. It seem we pay double for everything software DVD's etc.

  • Rego
  • over 13 years ago

Re[Overall the UK does not fair well compared to our European neighbours]
Once again it just proves rip off britian. It seem we pay double for everything software DVD's etc.

  • Rego
  • over 13 years ago

Counting by percentage of housefholds able to get the high speed services distorts the true fact that many areras outside of the major cities are completely ignored as the companies cherry pick the lucrative areas, content to offer second class services to those not fortunate enough to live in a cable/LLU area.

As ever there is a divide, created in part by the inadequacies of the UK telecoms network.

  • warweezil
  • over 13 years ago

> while some such as Bulldog and Sky cap at 16Mbps

I'm not sure that that is correct. Several Bulldog users have reported their connection speed as 22 Mbps.

  • MCM999
  • over 13 years ago

It's all well and good stating prices, but what about useage limits?

What some users use in a day in Japan and are charged on average $19.87 a month could well be the monthly limits that are set by UK ISPs that are charging on average $29.00 a month.

  • g-bhxu
  • over 13 years ago

Totally worthless and pointless information, a bottom of the ladder UK product which they have averaged at just over £14 would consist of about 1gig per month use and probably when averaged out about 5Mb in speed.
Services from other countries are not only cheaper, faster and more advanced, but this chart doesnt even include ADSL2+ or cable for us in the UK so you can only assume places like the USA who already thrash us on price in that chart dont have their cable etc figures included either, they may as well of done a chart comparing the taste of Honey Vs Jam

  • over 13 years ago

If your USA cable option were Roadrunner (remember the US has vast areas of local monopoly where you have at best 1 cable provider and 1 DSL provider) the introductory pricing is $29.95 for the first 6 months and after that " On average, a monthly subscription is $44.95 per month and includes a cable modem. This fee is in addition to the regular monthly cable subscription." I wonder how reliable this data is.

  • herdwick
  • over 13 years ago

On the Bulldog front I stated what they market at, I was aware there appears to be no actual limit.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 13 years ago

Am I misreading the table. Why is Japan the cheapest at $19.87 and not Sweden at $10.97?

  • Nick_Russell
  • over 13 years ago

"Japan works out the cheapest at just 11p per Mbps" ie not the cheapest entry level account (the Swedish one is 256k) but the lowest cost per unit bandwidth.

  • herdwick
  • over 13 years ago

Just when will O2 launch it's discounted broadband packages!!!

  • gayboy-ds
  • over 13 years ago

Not sure how useful these comparisons really are. I live in France and for a fixed IP address I have to pay Orange/FT an additional $24 (equivalent). I get a fixed IP address in my UK Metronet/Plusnet basic £11.95/month PayGo. Not sure that France deserves to be so high up the rankings. The basic fee for Orange access at 2Mb/125K is ~$41/month and you have to have the professional service in order to be allowed to have the privilege to pay for the fixed IP address - now that truly is a rip-off!

  • pj66300
  • over 13 years ago

Shhhh, pj66300, it's not the done thing around here to claim the UK is not providing the worst and most expensive services on the face of the Earth - you'll upset the Victor Meldrews if you have evidence to the contrary. Your living there and experiencing it first hand, rather than just reading about it, is just not good enough.

  • plesbit
  • over 13 years ago

The problem plesbit is a historical one...and all comes back to BT.

Profit or investment in infrastructure....hmmm, let me think, BT's shareholders are happy getting their dividends, why rock the boat, therefore...goodbye investment.

  • Shempz
  • over 13 years ago

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