Broadband and telecom

Prices and speeds: FAQs


The OECD collects data on broadband pricing and speeds and publishes the results on the OECD broadband portal and in OECD publications such as the Communications Outlook 2013. The methodology/criteria are available on the OECD broadband portal at: The data is always provided to OECD member governments for review before publication. Surveys are conducted annually. 


How are operators selected?

We collect all published offers from three operators in a country. We select the largest incumbent telecommunication firm for DSL, the largest cable company (if there are cable networks), and a third operator using DSL, Cable or FTTH.  In countries without a cable network we also select the second-largest provider.


Does the OECD pick and choose among offers promoted by a company?

We gather all published, residential broadband offers available on the operator’s website. We include high-end offers which may be geared to businesses as long as they are available to residential customers and are not published under a separate business heading. There are cases where we include offers with similar characteristics from the same operator if they are marketed differently (e.g. different names).


Why do some operators only have a small number of offers but operators in some other countries can have many more?

We collect data on all published residential offers available on the operator’s website. Some operators have chosen to simplify their broadband offerings to two, typically a lower and higher speed plan. In other countries, operators have a large number of offers because, in addition to offering various speed tiers, they differentiate plans based on the included data allowance. The price subscribers pay each month depends on the advertised speed of the connection and the size of the data allowance included in the subscription.


Why would the speeds reported by the OECD be higher than what I see when I test my connection online?

The OECD reports the speeds advertised by operators but these can be significantly higher than the actual speeds users encounter for a number of technical reasons. Therefore, the pricing data is representative of what operators are stating their lines should be capable of, not necessarily what speeds users actually receive.


Why does the OECD publish data on the average advertised speed?

The OECD provides descriptive statistics about the data collection for each country and for each technological platform.  The minimum, average and maximum published prices and advertised speeds are given to help readers understand the spread of offers available in a given market.  The OECD cannot weight offers according to number of subscribers taking the different offers since these data are usually commercially confidential.


How should the average advertised speed and prices be interpreted?

The average advertised speed and price are not a representation of the average subscription taken in a market but rather an average of the offers the surveyed operators are promoting. This distinction is important for a correct interpretation of the data. 
The range of broadband prices (min and max) across surveyed operators is a reflection of the prices that subscribers are actually paying in the market.  These data are available as items 4c and 4d on the portal.


Surveyed offers used by the OECD are available on the OECD Broadband Portal and in the Broadband and telecom.


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