South Africans pay $87 (R1272.68) a month for 100Mbps, which is far more than in European countries, the survey found. Supplied
South Africans pay $87 (R1272.68) a month for 100Mbps, which is far more than in European countries, the survey found. Supplied
South Africa has the most expensive home fibre prices in the world, according to a survey by e-commerce provider Picodi.com.

South Africans pay $87 (about R1272) a month for 100Mbps, which is far more than in European countries, the survey found.

“Twenty years ago, only 4.1 percent of the world’s population had access to the internet.

"This year, there are more than 4.5 billion active internet users, comprising 58.8 percent of people on earth,” Picodi.com said.

“The pivotal role of internet in modern life is emphasised by the UN which issued a resolution claiming that access to the internet is one of the basic human rights.”

Picodi.com analysts looked into pricings of the 233 biggest fibre internet providers in 62 countries, including G20 countries, the largest English- and Spanish-speaking countries, as well as former USSR countries.

Picodi.com took into consideration major internet providers offering unlimited residential fibre internet or the most advanced technology available in the country. Picodi.com included prices applicable after the end of a limited-time promotional rate. It excluded bundles consisting of several services, such as internet-plus TV or internet-plus paid-streaming services. It omitted smaller local providers working in one province or one city. If rental of a router is subject to a fee, Picodi.com included it in the price.

“The comfort of using the internet depends on many factors. Among them is nominal speed, the network’s technology, a wireless interference, network load, but also the quality of the visited website and the distance to its hosting server location.”

According to Speedtest.net, the global average speed of broadband is 70Mbps (December 2019). On the other hand, 100Mbps is the speed offered most frequently in the majority of countries surveyed - 55 out of 62. This speed allows for smooth web browsing on several devices at the same time and watching streaming services in the highest 4K resolution (UHD).

In some countries, such as Poland, Romania, France and Singapore, major internet providers do not offer such a “low” speed. In Poland and Romania, the lowest plan available is 150Mbps; in France it is 200Mbps and in Singapore it is 500Mbps. On the other hand, in countries such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam, the 100Mbps speed is not yet widely available.

Among the considered countries, the highest price for 100Mbps internet was in South Africa, at $87 (R1272.68) a month. It is more than in North European countries, such as Iceland and Norway, where consumers pay about $69 a month.

The 100Mbps fibre offering is the cheapest in Eastern European countries such as Moldova ($10/month), Russia ($8/month) and Ukraine ($6/month).

Picodi.com also asked what internet speed can you afford for the equivalent of $20 (about R298) a month? Out of 62 countries included in the report, 25 could not be ranked. In South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Chile, Italy, Portugal and the US the unlimited fibre internet for residents from major providers costs more than $20 a month.

The highest internet speed, which is 1Gbps, can be found in Romania, Moldova, India, Hungary, Latvia and Ukraine, with the price under $20 a month. This is enough to afford a super-fast internet plan in Russia (890MBps), China and Lithuania (600Mbps in both).

In theory, with 1Gbps, a 1GB file can be downloaded in eight seconds. In many countries, such speed is the highest plan in the offer. However, the purpose of this report is not to prove if, and for what, such a speed is needed. Picodi.com only checked in which countries 1Gbps internet was available for residents, and how expensive it was.

According to Picodi.com data, in many countries, 1Gbps internet is a high-cost luxury. In 24 out of 44 countries where providers offer such speed, a monthly price exceeds $50. Super-fast internet is the most expensive in Austria and Australia, at $220 and $231, respectively. The cheapest 1Gbps internet is available in Romania at $9 a month. In South Africa, the 1Gbps plan is $100 a month. 

PERSONAL FINANCE