Puerto Rico has some of the fastest internet downloads in the Americas, according to a report by Speedcheck, an organization dedicated to analyzing internet and streaming speed, and trends worldwide.
Frederik Lipfert, CEO of Speedcheck, explained to that for the 2021 Speed-Price Index (SPI) report, released earlier this month, the entity studied the relationship between the price of mobile data and the speeds at which the carriers actually deliver that data.
“In this insightful investigation by Speedcheck, we analyzed the mobile broadband speed experienced by the users of our service in 89 countries across five continents and compared them against the prices consumers are paying for data in each country,” the report reads. “The index increases as the speed increases and/or as the cost of data reduces. Thus, the higher the index the more value for money the mobile user enjoys.”
Compared to the Americas - including North America, South America and the Caribbean - Puerto Rico ranked fourth place in terms of download speed, with an average of 15.49 megabits per second (Mbps). Paraguay, the U.S. mainland, and Canada narrowly beat the island’s record with speeds of 17.11, 16.99, and 15.67 Mbps, respectively.
In terms of SPI, Puerto Rico also ranked fourth place in the Americas segment - even beating Canada - with an average price per gigabyte of $6.90 and a total SPI score of 2.2. The SPI considers both speed and price, so some countries may have slower speed or higher costs, and still rank higher in their SPIs.
For example, Argentina has a download speed of 7.49 Mbps that is -8.06 Mbps slower than that of Puerto Rico - but ranked third in the Americas with an SPI of 2.3 because the average price per gigabyte is $3.16, or $3.77 less than in Puerto Rico. Likewise, although Paraguay has the fastest download speed, it ranked eighth place with an SPI of 1.4 because the average cost is $12.59, nearly twice the price in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, the U.S. mainland tops the SPI rank of the Americas with a score of 5.1. In addition to having the second-fastest download speed, the average price in the U.S. per gigabyte is $3.33, less than half of what Puerto Rico consumers pay.
Although they fared well in the Americas, both the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico are falling behind when comparing SPIs worldwide. The United States has a global SPI ranking of 31, while Puerto Rico is even farther behind with a 46th ranking. According to the report, this indicates that the value consumers are getting for their mobile data “is well below par when compared with the rest of the world.”
By contrast, Israel has a download speed of 7.12 Mbps, but the average price per gigabyte is $0.09, far lower than U.S. and Puerto Rico costs. This positions the nation in first place with an SPI of 82.3, surpassing the second-highest SPI (Italy) by 38.1 SPI points.
Moreover, Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland and the rest of the Americas have considerably slower download speeds.
“Looking at it from a purely speed metric only, Paraguay, with an average speed of 17.11 Mbps, beats the United States with 16.99 Mbps. But what is more concerning is the overall average speed for the Americas is considerably lower than that of Europe where... consumers in Bulgaria, Switzerland and The Netherlands are enjoying speeds of 46.63, 43, and 36.76 Mbps, respectively,” Lipfert and Gerard Kearney, Telecoms Consultant for Speedcheck, explained in the report.
To read the full report and breakdown by Speedcheck, click here.