Consumers are also baffled by the varying information provided by operators, limiting their ability to make the choice that best suits them:
- Prices for the most common broadband connections can be up to four times higher in some Member States, even after purchasing power is taken into account;
- 66% of people do not know what Internet speed they have signed up for;
- Consumers only get 75% of the broadband speed they sign up for, on average
Today’s new study shows up to 400% price difference between EU countries in advertised broadband offers in the 12-30 Megabits per second (Mbps) category of fixed broadband that most Europeans subscribe to. Prices start from €10 to €46 per month, depending on where you live, and could be as high as €140 per month.
Price contrasts: the cheapest advertised broadband is available in Lithuania (from €10.30), Romania (from €11.20) and Latvia (from €14.60); in other countries, the lowest available offer can be as high as €46.20 (Cyprus), with Spain (€38.70) and Ireland (€31.40) not far behind. The biggest domestic price range is in Poland, with offers ranging from €20 up to €140, and Croatia – from €30 up to €121.
While successive waves of telecoms sector reform by the European Union have helped transform the way telecoms services are delivered in the EU, the sector still operates largely on the basis of 28 national markets. Both customers and operators face differing prices and rules. The European Parliament next week will vote on the Commission’s plans for a #ConnectedContinent which address these problems by offering consumers more transparency, more rights and better services.
While some differences between markets can be explained by different underlying costs and incomes, much of today’s inconsistency is due to persistent market fragmentation. The#ConnectedContinent will help overcome these price differences by giving greater power to consumers and a friendlier environment for investors across the EU Single Market, allowing efficient operators to sell their services to consumers in other countries.
For more information:
Eurobarometer telecoms household survey
Broadband access in the EU - July 2013