EC Records Dramatic Internet Price Fluctuations in EU
Europe's 400 million internet users face a geographic lottery regarding the price, speed, and range of choice of broadband, according to data released Wednesday.
According to the official data of the European Commission, prices for the most common broadband connections can be up to four times higher in some EU Member States, even after a purchasing power is taken into account. Some 66% of people do not know what internet speed they have actually signed up for.
The sector still operates largely on the basis of 28 national markets and both customers and operators face differing prices and rules, the report says.
The study shows up to 400% price difference between EU countries in advertised broadband offers in the 12-30 Mbps category of fixed broadband that most Europeans subscribe to. Prices start from EUR 10 - EUR 46 per month and could reach EUR140 per month.
The cheapest broadband internet is available in Lithuania from EUR 10.30, Romania from EUR 11.20 and Latvia from EUR 14.60.
In Cyprus, the lowest available offer can be as high as EUR 46.20, prices reach EUR 38.70 in Spain and EUR 31.40 in Ireland.
The biggest domestic price range is in Poland, with offers ranging from EUR 20 up to EUR 140, and Croatia – from EUR 30 up to EUR 121.
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 report states.