The internet is now a critical technology for Europeans, supporting remote workers and some of the continent’s largest industries. New research from BusinessComparison has studied internet speeds across 30 European countries, revealing Croatia close to the top of their ranking.
Europe’s Internet Infrastructure
While we may belong to one of the most prosperous continents, Europeans still experience a wide disparity between lifestyles. This is most apparent by comparing Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Nestled between them, a lot of Croatians can see how the lives of Italians and Serbians can differ.
The internet has become an equalizing force for many countries, with access to a wealth of information, including the world’s largest marketing platforms. Enterprising citizens can form businesses online no matter where they are, using the internet to cost-effectively find and sell to customers. Online industries like e-commerce and iGaming take full advantage of this, hosting free content to attract new customers like Shopify giveaways and casino promotions offered by Betfair, typically free spins or deposit matching. Using those marketing tactics, entrepreneurs in Europe’s most deprived regions can enhance their quality of life.
Countries like the UK and France had some of the best internet infrastructure in 2023. This comes from a study conducted by Cable, where the British-dependent island of Jersey was the leader with a download speed of 264.52 Mbps. Infrastructure slumped closer to the Mediterranean, where Croatia came 124th out of 220 regions with 25.72 Mbps.
BusinessComparison’s Internet Winners
While the Cable study investigated download speed, BusinessComparison has analyzed 30 countries with loading speeds in mind. It produced two sets of results – mobile speeds and desktop speeds.
For mobile internet speed, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland led the pack with 7.48, 7.65, and 7.8 seconds when loading their respective pages. Small, insular countries like Switzerland (7.99 seconds) and Luxembourg (8.01 seconds) also faired well while powerful Western nations slumped. The UK placed at 15 with 8.26 seconds, joined by Spain and Germany in the middle of the list. It comes as a blow to Europe’s largest tech economy, where the British government has redoubled efforts on Project Gigabit.
Croatia was one of the only Balkan states to qualify for this study. Not only that, but Croatia also did quite well by coming 9th, beating the UK and many other larger countries. Our average page-load speed was 8.07 seconds. To the east, Romania and Bulgaria posted two of the slowest page-loading speeds at 11.91 and 12.89, with Turkey the lowest 13.19 seconds.
The desktop results shift this slightly, though not much for first-place Sweden at 3.74 seconds. Comparatively, Croatia fell to 23 out of 30 by recording a speed of 5.12 seconds. When all of the findings are averaged out, Europe has a 5.17-second average load speed on desktops. For mobile, that increases to 8.78 seconds.
Desktop connections typically load faster than most modern phones, especially if the computer uses an ethernet cable. Speaking for BusinessComparison, digital content executive Sam White explained: “while desktop browsers can cope with media and image files, these will often cause mobile browsers difficulty due to the larger size of these files.” Put simply, mobiles lack the processing power to load on-screen elements commonly found on web pages. The more images/videos on the page, the longer it’ll take to load.
This research demonstrates that certain infrastructural gaps are being closed across Europe. While small, insular countries benefit from seamless infrastructure rollouts, larger nations don’t have that luxury. Fortunately, smaller countries around the Balkans have a lot of room to grow from continued investment in online infrastructure.