According to Akamai’s Q3 2016 rankings, Greece has an average connection speed of 6.9 Mbps and an average peak connection speed of 31.3 Mbps.
Out of the 11 million people living in Greece, almost 6 million are connected to the Internet, according to data published by the World Bank Group.
The Internet infrastructure in Greece experiences fast-paced advancement owing to the fact that the industry belongs to the private sector. The market is also divided between a few important ISPs, closely followed by secondary providers. The most important ISP in Greece is OTE, followed by other companies such as Cyta Hellas, Forthnet, Vodafone Greece, WIND Hellas, Data Telecoms, etc. Many of these providers either own little of the market share, or lease their lines from OTE, which is why many customers prefer opting for OTE in the detriment of others.
The infrastructure itself consists of a total of 6 types of connections: ADSL2+, VDSL2, FTTB, FTTH, AWMN (Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network), and FTTO, each providing different Internet speeds: 24, 50, 120, 150, 250 Mbps and 1 Gbps respectively.
Typically, a client would be in to pay roughly $25 for an Internet subscription with 10 Mbps of speed and unlimited data, according to latest data published by Numbeo. Considering what other European countries provide in terms of value for money, this cost is relatively high and is only expected to increase given the current state of the local economy. According to a survey carried out by the European Commission, Greece is the most expensive country in the EU when it comes to using cellphones for internet access.
The web hosting industry also keeps pace with the advancement of the Internet industry. By reviewing some of the prominent hosting companies on the local market, we have determined that, generally, the offering of each particular company comprises many services with attractive prices. Prices for core hosting services, such as Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting, start at $5, $17 and $85 respectively. On the other side of the coin, plans do not feature an abundance of resources. For example, disk space and monthly bandwidth are capped – you will usually have to pay extra for the “unmetered” benefit. Also, many of these companies force you into subscribing to a minimum period of 3 months of service. Uptime or money-back guarantees are also rare among them. Support for international languages is very limited.
The most important ISP in Greece is and will likely remain OTE. The main shareholder of this company used to be the government of Greece, but in July 1996, it gradually decreased its participation in OTE’s share capital. As such, nowadays, the main shareholder is Deutsche Telekom, which owns 40% of the company. The Greek government owns only 10%. The remainder is owned by other shareholders. Even though it seems that the company directly competes with other companies, in truth, OTE owns most of the network – other companies basically rent themselves onto it.
It should be noted that Greece has some of the highest Internet subscription fees in all Europe. In comparison with what other European countries offer in terms of Internet services, the Internet infrastructure in Greece also lags behind, but from this point of view, things seem to take a slow but steady turn for the better.
The Greek government is not known to be actively involved in monitoring the activity of Internet users without appropriate legal authority. The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press. The government generally respects these rights in practice, but over the past years, NGOs such as the Greek Helsinki Monitor have constantly reported that authorities frequently interfere with privacy, family, home and correspondence. No other credible reports have been delivered in this matter.