photo credit: Ministerio TIC Colombia on Flickr

Posted by Matthew Owens

Chile was the first country in the world to legislate for so-called net-neutrailty, an attempt to ensure that Internet Service Providers are not blocking, interrupting or otherwise impeding people in their network usage. Recently the Senate in Chile unanimously supported the idea of bringing in legislation to guarantee minimum internet speeds in the country. With this in mind let’s have a look at actual speeds throughout South America and compare them with the UK. Data are provided by netindex.com by Ookla.

We can see speeds developing over time until we arrive at a snapshot in current time (data provided by Google to March 2014). At the time of writing the UK has fastest speeds, followed by newcomers Uruguay and then Chile and Brasil.

Size isn’t everything of course, as the old addage goes, value and quality are also important. Data are currently (May 2014) sparse for indices other than speed but are available for some South American countries.

Almost inevitably costs are lower in the UK than anywhere in South America (where data are available) and costs in Chile are higher than the world average. Cost comparisons within South America are difficult due to incomplete data but internet connections in Venezuela are certainly very expensive on average, whereas they are relatively cheap in Brasil. Chile is probably a little cheaper than the average.

Quality in Chile is likely to be ‘good for the region’ but barely acceptable in absolute terms at 81.6.

Country

Download speed
Mbps

Upload speed
Mbps

Quality
R-Factor

Cost
USD

Promise
%

World

18.5

8.2

84.8

6.04

87.7

UK

27.5

6.4

87.5

2.56

79.0

Chile

13.5

3.0

81.6

8.20

95.0

Argentina

6.2

1.9

81.0

7.01

97.0

Bolivia

2.2

1.2

Brasil

10.5

3.1

4.95

97.0

Colombia

6.2

2.8

10.04

98.0

Ecuador

6.3

5.3

Guyana

Paraguay

3.0

2.2

Peru

4.6

1.0

68.8

Suriname

3.5

1.4

Uruguay

23.7

6.5

Venezuela

2.0

0.6

25.95

74.0

Mbps = Megabits per second. Speeds reported are the mean average of the last 30 days.
Cost = The value is the median cost in US dollars per Mbps.
R-Factor = A measure of connection quality taken over the last 30 days. The following rules of thumb are given for the R-Factor measure: 

Desirable = 94 – 80
Acceptable = 80 – 70
Reach Connection = 70 – 50
Not Recommended = 50 – 0

Promise = The median ratio of actual download speed to the download speed subscribed to (“promised speed”).
 

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