Greece’s internet performance worsened again in 2021, based on data collected by Cable.co, as the country pays a high economic and social price for its slow online connections. In a ranking of 224 countries put together by Cable.co assessing nations based on the speed of their internet, Greece dropped to 74th place, from 61st place in 2020 and 56th place in 2019.
The average internet speed is 29.7 Mbps in Greece, the survey shows, adding that it takes 23 minutes to download a 5 GB movie. In Iceland, the same movie size can be downloaded in 3 minutes, while in Hungary and Spain it takes 6-7 minutes.
In another global ranking of 221 countries published by Cable.co which evaluates markets based on internet charges, Greece is in 74th place, much lower than Albania, Northern Macedonia and Turkey. However, apart from movies and entertainment, the slow internet in Greece is significantly burdening the country's competitiveness.
Poor connectivity is affecting businesses, consumers and government services that are increasingly dependent on the internet to conduct day-to-day transactions. Businesses that use cloud-based applications and data are at a particular disadvantage compared with their competitors abroad.
According to a study conducted by the Analysis group, a city with high-speed internet, ie connecting one gigabit or more, has an overall healthier economy.
In the United States, researchers obtained statistics comparing 14 areas where most had high-speed Internet access compared to 41 neighboring cities where households did not fast Internet. Cities with gigabit connections, such as fiber optics, were found to have up to 1.1% higher gross domestic product than cities with slow online connections. However, many of the problems that are caused are not so obvious.
Other research shows that the social benefits of investing in broadband are significant. Increasing access to and use of broadband infrastructure in rural areas is leading to higher real estate values, higher employment and population growth, higher start-ups and lower unemployment rates, according to Richmond Federal Reserve Bank researchers.
Additionally, broadband expansion can also improve health and life outcomes by offering better healthcare in remote areas, online social networks and educational opportunities.