European Union report released Tuesday has found that the continent’s 400 million Internet users “face a geographic lottery regarding the price, speed, and range of choice of broadband.Furthermore, the options Europeans have are presented in confusing ways, with line rental, router fees, and loads of bundle packages limiting their ability to choose wisely. Switching providers is just as complicated, the report shows.
The combination of the four studies, shows 66% of people do not know what Internet speed they have purchased, and that, on average, consumers only get 75% of the broadband speed they sign up for. While there’s a slight drop in speed due to interference, distance from the exchange, and how many devices you’re using at home, getting three quarters of what you pay for seems unfair.
According to the @SamKnows study, actual download speed is 75.6% of the advertised speed—although this varies a lot between copper and fiber.
“There is no single market for internet and that has to change,” EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda @NeelieKroesEU said. “There is no good reason why one person should pay over 4 times more than another in Europe for the same broadband.”
Looking at prices across the EU, the study shows price differences can range up to 400%. While broadband prices are much higher in the U.S., they don’t vary so much between states .
The measurements for the study were taken by 9,467 small white boxes which plug into internet connections, supplied by Sam Knows, who carried out the survey spread across 30 countries. There are 28 countries in the EU but the study included Norway and Iceland.
“These findings mirror our own concerns about the broadband market,” said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? —the U.K. consumer lobby, which is also campaigning on these issues. “We found millions enduring poor customer service and paying for speeds they don’t get.”