According to bandwidthplace.com, Bosnia and Herzegovina has an average speed of 3 Mbps downlink and 1.13 Mbps uplink.
According to a 2015 estimate, Bosnia has a population of approximately 3.81 million. According to stats published in the same year, 65.4% of the country’s population was connected to the Internet, placing it among the countries with the lowest Internet penetration rates in the world.
The internet infrastructure in Bosnia is defined primarily by the existence of dial-up and broadband connections. Even though most European countries, particularly EU members, have switched completely from dial-up to broadband connections, the former remains a predominant way of accessing the Internet in Bosnia.
Slow but steady progress is being made to replace the dial-up infrastructure by the three incumbent operators. According to a report published by opensocietyfoundations.org, broadband coverage in 2011 was over 70%, which had grown considerably since 2005, when broadband coverage was less than 20%.
The three incumbent telecommunication operators of BiH are: BH Telecom, based in Sarajevo, which covers 51% of the population of BiH and most of the territory of the Federation of BiH. The second biggest operator is Telekom Srpske, which covers 34% of the population of BiH. The third biggest operator is HT Mostar, which covers 16% of the population of BiH. Smaller operators have entered the market since its liberalization in 2007, but have yet to make a noticeable difference.
Dial-up access in Bosnia – Short Analysis
Dial-up access to the Internet in Bosnia is provided by all the aforementioned incumbent operators. For a basic subscription, there are three payment methods that one can opt for as follows:
– Pay-as-you-go, meaning that you pay only the minutes that you
were connected to the Internet, usually at the rate of a normal voice
– Partial flat rate, if you intend to use the Internet for a set amount of hours or at set times
– Full flat rate, if you wish to use the Internet for however much, at any time during the day/night
Broadband access in Bosnia – Short Analysis
According to the CRA (Communications Regulatory Agency), the most common ways of accessing the Internet in Bosnia are through cable over coaxial cable and ADSL over copper telephone lines. Even though ADSL is an inherently more stable technology, cable is preferred due to the almost-nationwide coverage and it providing better speeds (up to 10 Mbps).
Ever-increasing demand for access to the Internet and CRA’s decision to enable the three dominant telecom operators to provide services across the entire BiH market has opened the door to strong and genuine market competition, along with a noticeable betterment of the broadband infrastructure.
According to stats published by Numbeo.com, a typical connection to the Internet comprising speeds of 10 Mbps, with unlimited data, on either Cable/ADSL infrastructure starts at approximately $15 per month, which is in line with prices found in neighbor countries with significantly-better broadband infrastructure, such as Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary.
Internet censorship in Bosnia
Currently, there are no governmental restrictions on access to the Internet or credible repors that the government monitors Internet chat rooms.
The Press Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the organization responsible for the regulation of online and print media content.
It is said that the government does not always respect press freedom in practice. Specifically, more and more independent analysts assert that there is a continuous tendency of politicians and other leaders to label unwanted criticism as hate speech.
With regard to the Bosnian copyright law on the Internet, many NGOs suggest that the government does not particularly engage in the monitoring and prevention of copyright infringement. This could explain why popular websites allegedly involved in the distribution of copyrighted content are not banned locally.