The study provides comprehensive data on 2018 retail prices of fixed broadband offers for consumers in the EU28, Iceland, Norway, Japan, South Korea, Canada and the USA. The five largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in each country were included. Data was collected from ISP websites between 8th and 22nd October 2018.

Offers were analysed for Single Play (standalone internet), for Double Play with fixed telephony, Double Play with television services, and for Triple Play. Offers for each of the four bundles were assigned to several download speed baskets ranging from 0.256 Mbps to more than 1Gbps.

To support valid cross-national comparison of retail prices of fixed broadband offers in each bundle and basket, consistent price normalisation procedures were applied. These take full account of features such as one-off fees, volume limits, discounts, different contract durations and varying telephony time limits.

Applying the normalised prices in Euro, it was found that the least expensive countries for fixed broadband in the EU in 2018 were Romania, Latvia, Hungary and Lithuania.  Prices differ considerably between the least and most expensive countries in the EU.

Key findings

Broadband prices show mixed trends in 2018:

  • Retail prices for Single Play offers decreased slightly in the 12-30 Mbps (-1.32%) and 30-100 Mbps baskets (-2.48%), while increasing in the 100+ Mbps (+2.80%) basket.
  • Retail prices for bundles which include fixed telephony actually rose on average over the year (+2.45%, 12-30 Mbps basket; +0.97%, 30-100 Mbps basket; +1.64%, 100+ Mbps basket).
  • Bundles including television services show the same pattern as Single Play offers (-1.04%, 12-30 Mbps basket; -2.13%, 30-100 Mbps basket; +0.29%, 100 Mbps basket).
  • Retail prices for Triple Play offers increased by 2.2% (12-30 Mbps basket), by 1.47% (30-100 Mbps basket), and by 5.66% in the 100+ Mbps basket.

Comparison of EU28 prices with prices in selected non-European countries in 2018 yielded the following picture:

  • South Korea shows the least expensive offers for standalone internet in every basket.
  • The EU28 shows slightly lower prices for Standalone and Double Play with Telephony offers compared with Japan.
  • Japan, in turn, shows lower prices for bundles including television.
  • Prices for all bundles in every basket are lower in the EU28 than in the USA and Canada.

Study reference number: SMART 2018/0044

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