A new ‘Internet Accessibility Index’ ranks Denmark as the most connected nation, Burundi the least.
The index, from BroadbandChoices, looks at a range of factors to determine a nation’s connectivity ranking including download/upload speeds, internet access percentage, affordability, mobile coverage, free WiFi hotspots, and more.
|Overall top 10||Overall bottom 10|
|United States||162. Equatorial Guinea|
|Hong Kong||163. São Tomé & Príncipe|
|United Kingdom||165. Tanzania|
European countries dominate the top 10 fastest average internet download speeds:
- Liechtenstein – 187.35 Mbit/s
- Denmark – 99.08 Mbit/s
- Switzerland – 95.26 Mbit/s
- Hong Kong – 81.63 Mbit/s
- Sweden – 71.56 Mbit/s
- Andorra – 67.78 Mbit/s
- Bermuda – 65.01 Mbit/s
- Luxembourg – 56.67 Mbit/s
- Netherlands – 54.56 Mbit/s
- Finland – 54.06 Mbit/s
Disappointingly, the US and UK fell down the rankings at 13th and 28th place respectively. The US’ average speed is 34.13 Mbit/s while the UK’s is just 20.06 Mbit/s.
Prior to the pandemic, one of British PM Boris Johnson’s key pledges was to provide the whole UK with full-fibre broadband by 2025. The current average speeds show both the slow progress in the rollout while also highlighting the need for faster infrastructure.
However, things are clearly more dire at the other end of the scale. 30 countries – predominantly in Sub-Saharan Africa – suffer from download speeds of under 1 Mbit/s. Of course, these countries are predominately reliant on mobile connectivity.
Rob Baillie from BroadbandChoices commented:
“Our research shows a significant divide in not just the quality of internet access around the world but also its inclusivity, with a significant number of people being priced out of the market – potentially having huge ramifications on education and employment prospects.
While there have been significant advances in communications technology in recent years, more needs to be done to connect rural and economically challenged communities, however, doing so will likely require higher levels of investment and more innovation than we’re currently seeing.
Reliable and affordable internet access is vital in order to be competitive in an increasingly digital global economy, and with the coronavirus pandemic only speeding up the move towards digital industries, developing countries are at risk of being left behind.”
Here are the 10 countries with the cheapest internet ($ per month):
- Ukraine – $7.2
- Russian Federation – $8.2
- Romania – $10.3
- Bhutan – $10.5
- Belarus – $11.0
- Iran – $11.0
- Kazakhstan – $11.5
- Moldova – $11.8
- Vietnam – $12.4
- Mongolia – $13.0
The US ranks 116th in internet pricing with an average of $60.4 per month. The UK fares a bit better in 65th place and an average of $38.7 per month. The most expensive internet goes to Mauritania at an eye-watering $773.2 per month.
Four of the countries with the cheapest internet (Ukraine, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam) also rank in the top 10 for cheapest per 1GB of mobile data:
- India – $0.4
- Israel – $0.6
- Russian Federation – $0.7
- Sri Lanka – $0.8
- Kazakhstan – $0.9
- Kyrgyzstan – $1.0
- Denmark – $1.0
- Poland – $1.0
- Vietnam – $1.1
- Ukraine – $1.1
The US has among the most expensive mobile data, ranking 150th of the 169 countries with an average cost of $9.6 per 1GB. The UK, for comparison, ranks 76th with an average cost of $3.4 per 1GB.
You can find the full Internet Accessibility Index here.
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