According to bandwidthplace.com, Lithuania has an average 8.31 Mbps downlink and 10.77 Mbps uplink.
According to a 2015 estimation, the current population of Lithuania is 2.91 million. In 2012, Internet users in Lithuania represented 68% of the country’s population, experiencing a steady growth of over 30% over the prior 5 years.
The Internet infrastructure in Lithuania experiences fast-paced advancement thanks to the favorable domestic market and the healthy competition created between ISPs. It is divided into dial-up and broadband Internet.
Dial-up access in Lithuania
Dial-up access to the Internet in Lithuania is a very rare occurrence, but it does exist and a few hundred customers use it on a daily basis. 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 Lithuania – Facts and Stats
Broadband Internet is divided into ADSL and Fiber (FTTH) connections. According to ec.europa.eu, Lithuania also has the highest FTTH (Fiber-to-the-home) penetration rate in Europe, with 36.8% connected to the Internet via FTTH in September 2016.
The largest broadband ISPs in Lithuania are as follows:
– Telia LT (incumbent)
– Cgates (formerly Kavamedia)
In early 2017, TEO, the previous Internet market leader, merged with Omnitel to become Telia LT, a subsidiary owned by parent company Telia Company AB. Telia LT is currently the largest provider in Lithuania, providing integrated telecommunication, IT and TV services to individual customers and corporate customers. This company is said to own more than 70% of the Internet lines, on which other relatively smaller companies lease.
Similar to tendencies noticed in Finland and Ireland, the government of Lithuania strives to offer its citizens fast, reliable and affordable broadband access to the Internet. In recent years, this process has been rather slow, as observed by more than half of the Internet users. In order to render this process more effective and achieve the end results in due course, a comprehensive plan has been created to this effect. It is known as The Information Society Development Programme 2014-2020 and its targets to be achieved by 2020 are as follows:
– 50% of households in Lithuania should use 100 Mbps or faster broadband communication, where possible;
– 30 Mbps and faster broadband communication should be accessible in the entire country;
– 95% of Lithuania’s enterprises should use high-speed Internet connections;
Realistically speaking, rolling out broadband infrastructure in Lithuania is definitely doable, considering the fact that the size of this country is roughly 65,000 square kilometers, and that the European Union is actively involved in supporting the growth of the Internet through grants, on top of already-enormous investments made by the private sector. According to ec.europa.eu, mobile operators in Lithuania already plan to replace, at their own cost, current base stations in cities, district centers and areas with newer technology.
According to latest stats published by Numbeo.com, a typical subscription to the Internet costs around $10 per month. It should be noted that the Internet in Lithuania, as with most European countries, is usually provided with Double Play offers, meaning that, beside the Internet subscription, you’ll also need to subscribe to either TV or telephony services, which obviously increases the cost. Triple Play, which includes both TV and telephony services, also exists, but is less popular than its Double Play counterpart. At the same time, half of Lithuanian broadband subscriptions remain standalone offers, to which the price provided by Numbeo.com applies.
Internet Censorship in Lithuania
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate legal authority.
The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice.
According to rsf.org, the media in Lithuania are independent and free to criticize the government, but certain unwritten “limits” are imposed.
The current legislation prohibits banks from investing in media outlets, but this ban is easily circumvented by the fact that these very banks own holding companies, which in turn invest in the media outlets for them.
With regard to the state of the copyright law on the Internet, the Lithuanian government has no particular activity centered around banning websites allegedly involved in the distribution of copyrighted material, such as The Pirate Bay.