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#497015 - 10/19/14 10:34 AM Caribbean Internet Download Speeds
Marty Offline

Just over four months ago, May 2014, we launched a new Snapshot that presented actual (real life) upload and download speeds from across the Caribbean. In that exercise, data for 28 countries was highlighted, which also established a baseline for future comparison.

In light of the dynamic nature of the Internet globally, and even in the Caribbean, where Internet Service Providers are continually fine-tuning their networks and services, and consumer behaviour among Caribbean Internet users is also changing as the market base grows, this exercise might need more frequent updating. Unlike the previous article, where both upload and download speed data was presented, in this instance, we will focus on download speed, and compare the new results with those recorded in May.

Methodology

Similar to the May 2014 exercise, the data for this assessment was drawn from Internet speed tests conducted by Ookla, a recognised provider of broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. Using the results of its speed test applications, it is able to continuously track Internet speeds and performance globally. Ookla has formulated two indices – a Household Upload Index and a Household Download Index – which compares and ranks consumer upload and download speeds worldwide (192 countries), and represents them as a rolling mean speed in Megabits per second (Mbps) over the past 30 days. The results presented in the next section were recorded on 23 September 2014 for the countries listed in Table 1. Unlike the May 2014 exercise, which covered 28 countries, there were no results for Bonaire, Statia (St. Eustatius) and Saba; hence they have been excluded.


Internet download speeds

Internet download speeds varied considerably across the 27 Caribbean countries examined, as shown in Figure 1. The fastest download speed was recorded in Curaçao, which was ranked 54th out of the 192 countries assessed, at 15.94 Mbps, and was followed by the Bahamas at 14.04 Mbps and 64th on the list, and Aruba at 12.47 Mbps, and 72nd on the list. At the other end of the spectrum, the slowest download speeds were recorded in Cuba, 1.65 Mbps, which was 185th, and thereafter, Guyana, 2.30 Mbps and was ranked 181, and Belize, at 2.64 Mbps, and 174th out of 192 countries.


Globally, the fastest household Internet download speeds were recorded in Hong Kong (94.10 Mbps); Singapore (78.33 Mbps); and Romania (55.68 Mbps), and the global average was 20.54 Mbps. The average download speed across the Caribbean countries examined was 7.72 Mbps, whilst those across other international country groupings, were as follows:

APEC: 22.50 Mbps
EU: 26.50 Mbps
G8: 26.80 Mbps
OECD: 25.90 Mbps.

What changes have occurred since May 2014?

Generally, household download speeds have increased over the past four months. The average speed across the Caribbean rose by 0.74 Mbps, from 6.98 Mbps. Similarly, and across other groups of countries, the following change in speeds occurred:

APEC: +3.10 Mbps
EU: +1.70 Mbps
G8: +3.30 Mbps
OECD: +3.00 Mbps.

With regard to the changes in household download speed in individual Caribbean countries, they varied widely, as shown in Figure 2. The greatest increases in downloads speeds were recorded in Martinique, by 3.73 Mbps, and followed by Haiti, by 3.30 Mbps, and Curacao, by 2.40 Mbps. Conversely, the top three countries that recorded considerably slower download speeds were: St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with a drop of -4.64 Mbps; the Bahamas, where the average download speed slowed by -3.05 Mbps; and Saint Martin, with a decrease of -1.38 Mbps.


Unsurprisingly, the eight countries that recorded lower averaged download speeds, also slipped in the country ranking (Figure 3). However, two additional countries, Aruba and Grenada, also lost their earlier positions, though they both recorded increased download speeds. Also, Trinidad and Tobago, which recorded an increase in download speed of 0.85 Mbps, was only able to maintain its May ranking, at 73.

Emphasising earlier discussions we have had, for example on the region’s network readiness performance, an improvement in scores does not necessarily guarantee a better ranking, as other countries might be improving at a faster rate. However, noting that download speeds are being tracked continually and averaged over a 30-day period, the effect of recent network upgrades might not yet be fully evident in the results published. Conversely, recent incidents that might have resulted in slower speeds, such as broken submarine or terrestrial cables, or denial of service attacks, could still be contributing to (lowering) the averaged speed recorded.

Source: ICT-Pulse


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#497036 - 10/19/14 11:07 PM Re: Caribbean Internet Download Speeds [Re: Marty]
BeBelize Offline
Fascinating, Marty, thanks for posting!

We stayed at a VRBO in WA state this summer and kept trying to tell the host that .5 (yes, that's POINT FIVE) Mbps was NOT high-speed internet. This chart confirms that in spades. Slower than Belize in the continental US is downright embarrassing! grin
_________________________
Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico
http://travelingtwosome.weebly.com

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#504864 - 06/03/15 07:12 PM Re: Caribbean Internet Download Speeds [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

2015 update of Internet speeds and pricing across the Caribbean

A 2015 update of fixed Internet broadband speeds and pricing across the Caribbean, and a brief comparison with our 2014 results.

As the Internet becomes increasingly important across the Caribbean, the telecoms providers themselves are continually adjusting and refining their offerings in that market. Since 2011, we, here at ICT Pulse, have been tracking fixed Internet broadband speeds and pricing across the Caribbean. We are updating our findings, and highlighting some of the changes that have occurred since our last assessment exercise in 2014.

Table: ISPs surveyed for 2015 speed spend review
Table: ISPs surveyed for 2015 speed spend review

Methodology

The methodology employed has remained unchanged from last year’s exercise, and we have maintained country pool of 19 Caribbean countries as highlighted in the sections below.

Data was collected from the websites of widely used Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the countries covered. To the extent possible, two ISPs were examined in each country (Table 1), and the exercise focussed on fixed/wired (non-dialup) Internet services, and on service plans for domestic/residential customers.

The offerings from the ISPs varied drastically in respect of transmission speeds, hence the exercise was limited to identifying (per country):

  1. the lowest advertised download speed and the corresponding lowest monthly rate
  2. the highest advertised download speed and the corresponding lowest monthly rate
  3. the monthly rate for a plan with an advertised download speed of 2 Mbps (Megabits per second), and
  4. the highest download speed plan that can be purchased for no more than USD 60.00 per month.

Under International Telecommunications Union standards, between 1.5 and 2 Mbps is considered the threshold speed for classifying an Internet service as broadband. Hence 2 Mbps has been used as a baseline reference when comparing prices across the Caribbean.

Finally, it is emphasised that the review focused on the monthly rates payable for the specified Internet plans only. The exercise excluded initial subscription and activation fees, as well as any additional monthly charges that might be applicable. The rates were converted to United States Dollars (USD) when required, based on current commercial exchange rates. Applicable taxes, such as Value Added Tax (VAT) or General Consumption Tax (GCT), have also been included.

The 2015 results

Table 2 shows the minimum and maximum advertised download speeds available in those countries, and the corresponding best rates offered for those packages.

Table 2:  Lowest and highest advertised download speeds and the corresponding best rates in select Caribbean countries as at June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

Table 2: Lowest and highest advertised download speeds and the corresponding best rates in select Caribbean countries as at June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

In 13 of the 19 countries surveyed, the lowest download speeds offered is 2 Mbps and under. ISPs in Aruba Belize and Guyana are still offering Internet plans with advertised download speeds of 256 kbps. Sixteen countries offer broadband packages with a maximum advertised download speed of at least 8 Mbps.  The exceptions are Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Suriname. However, more ISPs, such those in Curacao, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago are offering customers Internet plans with advertised download speeds of up 100 Mbps, and in Barbados and the Cayman Islands, plans of 300 Mbps and over are being offered to domestic customers.

With regard to the best price across the region for a broadband Internet plan with an advertised download speed of up to 2 Mbps, Figure 1 ranks the prices by country. It is highlighted that the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guyana and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been excluded from this assessment, as the ISPs reviewed do not offer a 2 Mbps plan – though plans with higher download speeds are available.

Figure 1:  Monthly rates payable for an Internet plan with an advertised download speed of 2 Mbps for select Caribbean countries as of June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

Figure 1: Monthly rates payable for an Internet plan with an advertised download speed of 2 Mbps for select Caribbean countries as of June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

The lowest advertised price was recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, at USD 22.15, followed by Grenada, USD 24.48 and Curacao, USD 24.55. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the highest prices for a 2 Mbps plan was USD 69.49 in Belize, and was followed by the Antigua and Barbuda (USD 62.20) and Anguilla (USD 39.38). The average price across the Caribbean region for a 2 Mbps Internet plan is USD 37.89.

To gauge the “bang for buck” of the Internet plans offered, and for each country included in this year’s assessment exercise, we sought to determine what might be fastest Internet broadband plan a customer could purchase for no more than USD 60.00 per month. The results are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3.

Figure 2:  Fastest Internet plan by advertised download speed for under USD 60.00 in select Caribbean countries as of June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

Figure 2: Fastest Internet plan by advertised download speed for under USD 60.00 in select Caribbean countries as of June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

 

Figure 3:  Fastest Internet plan by advertised download speed for under USD 60.00 and the corresponding monthly rate in select Caribbean countries as of June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

Figure 3: Fastest Internet plan by advertised download speed for under USD 60.00 and the corresponding monthly rate in select Caribbean countries as of June 2015 (Source: ISP websites)

The fastest plan was found in Barbados, where for USD 50.00 per month a plan with an advertised download speed of up to 50 Mbps could be secured. The next fastest plans, 30 Mbps and 25 Mbps, were found in the Bahamas and Jamaica, at approximately USD 56.99 and USD 40.47, respectively. Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also have 25 Mbps plans available for under USD 60.00 – at USD 49.69 in both countries.

On other hand, the slowest Internet plan, 1 Mbps, was recorded in Antigua and Barbuda, and would cost approximately USD 47.48. The next slowest plans, 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps were recorded in Belize and Dominica, with a monthly rate of approximately USD 43.68 and USD 31.65, respectively.

How do the 2015 results compare with those from last year?

Since our last review in 2014, there have been significant changes in Internet speed and pricing across the Caribbean. First, download speeds increased and rates decreased in several countries across the region, for example:

  • Anguilla – faster Internet plans, with revised prices, are being advertised
  • Bahamas –faster Internet plans are being advertised
  • Barbados – the download speed of the fastest plan doubled, from 160 Mbps, to 320 Mbps
  • Belize – the 128 kbps plan is no longer offered, a 16 Mbps plan was added, and the rates were lowered
  • British Virgin Islands – faster Internet plans are being advertised
  • Cayman Islands – faster Internet plans, with revised rates, are being advertised, including a 300 Mbps plan
  • Curacao – some rates were adjusted for specific plans
  • Guyana – faster Internet plans are being advertised
  • Saint Lucia – faster Internet plans, with revised rates, are being advertised, including a 100 Mbps plan
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – faster Internet plans, with revised rates, are being advertised, including a 100 Mbps plan
  • Trinidad and Tobago – Internet plans using fibre-to-the-home technology are being advertised
  • Turks and Caicos Islands – faster Internet plans, with revised prices, are being advertised.

With specific reference to an Internet plan with an advertised download speed of 2 Mbps, Figure 4 shows the difference in pricings between May 2014 and June 2015.  The change in pricing ranged from an increase of almost 6.1% in Jamaica, to a decrease of almost -53.3% in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Figure 4:  Percentage change in monthly rates between May 2014 and June 2015 for an Internet plan with an advertised download speed of 2 Mbps in select Caribbean countries (Source: ICT Pulse)

Figure 4: Percentage change in monthly rates between May 2014 and June 2015 for an Internet plan with an advertised download speed of 2 Mbps in select Caribbean countries (Source: ICT Pulse)

In averaging the price for a 2 Mbps plan across all of the countries surveyed the averaged price dropped by approximately USD 14.04 since May 2014, which again indicates that Internet prices are indeed decreasing in the Caribbean.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that with the recent completion of the sale of Columbus International, which owned the Flow brand in the region, to Cable and Wireless Communication plc (CWC), which owns the LIME brand, the full impact of that transaction on broadband Internet speed and pricing in the region has not yet been fully realised. In the coming months, we thus likely to witness some major changes in the Internet space, as CWC rolls out its strategy for the region.

Source


Belize is Second Slowest in Broadband Internet Speed in the Caribbean

A report on fixed Internet broadband speeds and pricing across the Caribbean shows that Belize has consistently remained as head of the class as it relates to pricing but in respect of speed, it is the second slowest. Nineteen countries were surveyed for the 2015 findings by the ICT Pulse – International issues from a Caribbean Perspective.  The data was obtained from the Belize Telemedia website and the review focused on the monthly rates payable for the specified Internet plans. The 2015 results show that in thirteen of the nineteen countries surveyed, the lowest download speeds offered is two megabytes per second and under. Internet Service Providers in Belize, Aruba and Guyana are still offering download speeds of two hundred and fifty-six kilobytes per second. On the other side of the spectrum, sixteen countries offer broadband packages with a maximum advertised download speed of at least eight megabytes per second.  But in such countries as Curacao, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, download speeds as high as one hundred megabytes per second. In Barbados and the Cayman Islands, plans for as much as three hundred megabytes and over are being offered. Turning to prices, the lowest was recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, at twenty-two U.S. dollars and fifteen cents, followed by Grenada, and Curacao. Now the highest price for a two-megabyte plan is as much as sixty-nine US dollars and forty-nine cents in Belize.  The fastest plan was found in Barbados, where providers are offering it for fifty U.S. dollars per month with a download speed of up to fifty megabytes per second. But the slowest plans are offered in Antigua and Barbuda and Belize.

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