Turns out UK broadband isn’t as bad as you think

Out of 196 countries, Iran offers the world’s cheapest broadband and Burkina Faso offers the most expensive, while the UK sits in the middle on price (63rd), for performance its 31st – net win?

The statistics have been taken from’s worldwide pricing research, which raises a few surprises. Iran sits at the top of the list, only charging $5.37 per month for users to access the world wide web, while customers in Burkina Faso would have to pay a whopping $960.52. We’re pretty sure even the most hardcore of millennials would pass on cat videos for that price.

And while we might complain about the price of broadband in the UK, it doesn’t actually seem that bad. Ranked 63rd at an average price of $40.63 per month is quite reasonable, when you consider the levels of disposable cash we have here. And when you compare to previous research from on average speeds, UK was 31st with a 16.51 Mbps average, it doesn’t actually seem like a bad trade off.

“In the UK there can be no doubt there is still a significant number of people who feel they are paying too much for a service that’s less than adequate,” said Dan Howdle of “However, the hugely popular narrative that the UK has awful, expensive broadband simply isn’t true.

“Our data demonstrates that when it comes to broadband, both the national marketplace and the infrastructure that underpins it are imperfect no matter where you live.

“With a healthy, open marketplace offering very cheap broadband deals to everyone, and so-called ‘superfast’ speeds to almost 96% of homes, the UK is doing considerably better than the majority of countries around the world.”

For those who feel they are still getting the sharp end of the stick, we have pulled out a few other average monthly prices just to put things in perspective:

  • Gibraltar: $49.56
  • Guernsey: $52.56
  • Jersey: $56.51
  • Australia: $60.37
  • USA: $66.17
  • Hong Kong: $71.17
  • Switzerland: $81.20
  • UAE: $155.17

So next time you fancy complaining about the price or performance of your broadband, just remember those poor guys over in the UAE. Not only are they paying $155.17 for connectivity, the average download speeds are 4.17 Mbps.

  • Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies


  1. Avatar Petros Charalambous 21/11/2017 @ 2:53 pm

    The 31st position is occupied by BG (Bulgaria)
    GB (Great Britain) sits in position number 63

    • Jamie Davies Jamie Davies 22/11/2017 @ 9:25 am

      Hi Petros, 31st position was a reference to the download speeds ranking – added brackets to clear it up a bit

  2. Avatar Michael Strelitz 21/11/2017 @ 2:57 pm

    If you calculate the cost/mb and look at Western Europe, the UK overpays substantially compared to Ireland, Sweden, Portugal, Germany, Spain and others.

    • Jamie Davies Jamie Davies 22/11/2017 @ 9:52 am

      Hi Michael – fair point. Ran the cost/mb numbers and UK does lag behind most of Europe (not by much though) with $2.46 cost/mb. Ireland is actually more expensive, but the others you mentioned range between $0.5-1 better cost/mb.
      If you look globally however, UK is ranked 30th for cost/mb compared to 63rd for straight up price.
      NB: I did have to remove 5/6 countries when doing the cost/mb calculations are they didn’t appear in both lists (Cook Islands for example)

  3. Avatar Peter Cochrane 22/11/2017 @ 3:11 am

    This is a very sad misrepresentation of the truth. SuperFast = SuperSlow and passes 96% of properties – it certainly cannot be delivered to 96% or anywhere near. As for the speeds commonly quoted – they are mostly guesses and the ‘up to’ figures and not the actual speed experienced/delivered – moreover it is only the download – the upload speeds are a trickle and preclude Cloud Working.

    Being number 31 out of 196 countries but cheap and unreliable is nothing to shout about. The author needs to get out of the office a travel to experience the reality!

    Singapore this morning in a Shopping Mall with >100Mbit/s bi-directional.

    • Jamie Davies Jamie Davies 22/11/2017 @ 9:16 am

      Hi Peter – thanks for your comment, though why you think the speeds quoted are guesses despite being based on analysis of 63 million speed tests from around the world is a slight mystery. As is the comparison with 100 Mbps in Singapore. Why do you need download speeds that high? How many applications go into meltdown when you only have a 16 Mbps download speed? By aiming for an unnecessary and over-hyped speed you are only building up the consumers expectations for failure – achieving these speeds in countries which are bigger than a city is unrealistic. Reality checks are reserved for those who make unreasonable claims

    • Avatar James Pink 22/11/2017 @ 3:38 pm

      I completely agree, we work in the SME sector and the sad truth is the ADSL available to a great proportion is insufficient to support VoIP or Cloud computing, so 0/10. The picture is intentionally skewed to support the incumbent. Truth is, we should all have a minimum 100Mb if not a Gig. The Openreach/BT Retail cash cow that is the UK has been woefully under invested whilst International aims have been pursued.

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