Greece has the slowest fixed internet in Europe, despite the significant investments that have been made in recent years, while internet services remain among the most expensive in relation to people’s incomes, according to the annual report on the digital quality of life, compiled by cyber security company Surfshark.
The report evaluates five criteria: internet affordability, internet quality, electronic infrastructure, electronic security and electronic government.
Based on the 2022 index, Greece has dropped one place from 2021, ranking 39th among 117 countries worldwide and is also 29 among 38 European countries surveyed. This is because, in the five criteria evaluated by Surfshark, Greece improved its position only to the one related to digital governance.
The report also shows that an internet user in Greece needs to work every month about 12 minutes to buy 1 GB of data for his mobile phone, six times more than what is needed in Bulgaria and 149 times more than what is needed in Israel, the country with the lowest fees which also tops this year’s index.
Breaking down each criterion, financial ability to pay for Internet services essentially measures whether the charges are cheap for the income of the citizens. This is Greece’s “Achilles heel,” as it is where it performs the worst, ranking 67th, down from 61st last year. This is because this year, in order to buy 1 GB of mobile data, users in Greece will have to work 6 seconds longer compared to last year. Fixed internet connection fees are also high. In order to pay for the cheapest connection, Greeks have to work three hours and 46 minutes every month, 12 times more than households in Israel, where it is enough to work 19 minutes a month.
Internet quality mainly measures speed: Greece is ranked 55th among 117 countries, with the low performance mainly related to the speed of fixed internet connections. Regarding mobile internet speed, Greece ranks 20th, with a speed of 97.5 Mbps/second. In contrast, the internet speeds at home are an average of 40.4 Mbps/second, which ranks Greece in 84th place.
According to Surfshark, fixed internet speed in Greece is two times lower than in Bulgaria, while mobile internet speed are 36% lower.
In internet security, Greece maintains the 1st place, as in last year’s ranking, something particularly important for users, individuals and businesses, but also for the functioning of the public administration.
In e-governance, the country ranks 55th from 59th last year, with the improvement due to the readiness of the state and businesses to use artificial intelligence. In terms of this sub-criterion, Greece moved up ten places and ranks 48th from 58th in last year’s report.
The findings that are of particular importance considering that even after the pandemic, teleworking and remote learning are still being used to a significant extent, while now many forms of entertainment, such as streaming platforms, require an Internet connection and high speeds.
PS The report only confirms what we, troubled, residents in Greece have been knowing since …ever.