Fixed broadband in Sri Lanka cheapest in Asia, second globally: International survey

Wednesday, 7 November 2018 01:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Global broadband becoming faster, but pricing remains stable as per latest survey carried out by with the assistance of international consumer insight consultancy BVA BDRC


The cost of fixed broadband in Sri Lanka is the cheapest within Asia and second globally, according to the latest survey conducted by with the assistance of international consumer insight consultancy BVA BDRC between 15 August and 20 September 2018.

Data from 3,303 fixed-line broadband deals in 195 countries was gathered and analysed to compile the latest rankings (available at released yesterday. Sri Lanka’s average package price was quoted as $ 5.65 per month.

“Sri Lankan broadband is supplied by incumbent provider Sri Lanka Telecom, providing 21 Mbps ADSL and 100 Mbps FTTH. It is incredibly cheap, with ADSL available from just $ 3.19 per month,” said. 

It said Ukraine offers the world’s cheapest broadband, with an average cost of $ 5.00 per month. The West African nation of Mauritania is the most expensive, with an average package price of $ 768.16.

Within Asia, Iran at $ 8.20 came second followed by Nepal ($ 16.47). The Maldives ($ 81.55), Brunei Darussalam ($ 123.29) and Laos ($ 239.25) provide the most expensive package prices per month in Asia.

Four of the top six cheapest countries were formerly a part of the USSR (now collectively known as the Commonwealth of Independent States or CIS) including the Russian Federation itself, which is the world’s fourth cheapest country, with an average package cost of just $ 9.77 or around one-seventh the cost of broadband in the US.

Commenting on the findings of the research internationally, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, said: “Despite many countries providing faster access year-on-year, and the price of broadband fluctuating – sometimes wildly – from country to country, on average the price of broadband worldwide remains largely unchanged, falling just 1.64% since the fourth quarter of 2017.

“In our worldwide broadband speed comparison, released earlier this year, similar disparities were apparent to those seen here. The countries with slow, patchy broadband infrastructure that supplies only a fraction of the population tend to be the most expensive. Likewise, those with exceptional, often full-fibre (FTTH) infrastructure supplying the majority of the population tend to be the cheapest, if not in absolute terms, certainly on a cost-per-megabit basis.

Within Western Europe, Italy is the cheapest, with an average package price of $ 29.48 per month, followed by France ($ 31.14), Germany ($ 36.68) and Monaco ($ 37.00). The UK came in fifth cheapest out of 29 Western European nations (and 61st cheapest worldwide), with an average package price of $ 39.58 per month.

In the Near East region, war-ravaged Syria came in cheapest with an average monthly price of $ 13.00 per month (and ranked seventh overall), with Saudi Arabia ($ 95.72), Bahrain ($ 96.29), Qatar ($ 140.58), Oman ($ 150.63) and the United Arab Emirates ($ 157.10) providing the most expensive connectivity in the region.

Mexico is the cheapest country in which to buy a broadband deal in Central America, with an average broadband package cost per month of $ 33.32. Panama is the most expensive with an average package price of $ 108.38 per month.

In North America, Canada offers the cheapest broadband on average ($57.66), coming in 22 positions ahead of the United States globally ($67.69). Bermuda provides the most expensive packages in the region with an average price of $124.36 per month.

Saint-Martin (France) offers the cheapest broadband in the Caribbean, with an average package price of $23.78 per month, with the British Virgin Islands ($141.17), Cayman Islands ($158.69), Antigua and Barbuda ($177.15) and Haiti (207.39) at the most expensive end, both regionally and globally.

Sub-Saharan Africa fared worst overall with almost all of its countries in the most expensive half of the table. Réunion, off the east coast of Madagascar, was the cheapest in the region, coming in 48th overall with an average package price of $35.45. Mauritania, meanwhile, charges residential users an average of $768.16 per month and is the most expensive in the world. Mali ($160.53), Tanzania ($181.80), Burkina Faso ($201.94) and Namibia ($383.83) join Mauritania as the most expensive countries in the region, and sit among the ten most expensive countries in the world.

11 of the 12 countries studied in Oceania were found in the most expensive half of the global table (Australia being the only exception). Generally, larger landmasses such as Australia and New Zealand are cheaper than smaller islands states. Vanuatu ($138.54), Cook Islands ($171.34) and Papua New Guinea ($571.67) are the most expensive in the region, with Papua New Guinea coming in second-most expensive in the world.

Despite significant year-on-year ups and downs in broadband pricing in various countries around the world, the average price of a broadband deal globally remains constant, dropping just $0.12 overall, from $73.04 to $72.92, or around 1.64%, between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018. 

In a previous report, analysed over 163 million broadband speed tests to rank 200 countries by the average internet speed they offer.