The quality of Malta’s internet is among the worst in Europe, according to a new study that analysed the digital quality of life in 110 countries.

Malta ranked 59th for internet quality, with Estonia being the only other European country to fare worse.

The third edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index analyses 110 countries in terms of five core pillars: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-government. 

Malta ranked 40th overall and 27th among the 38 European countries on the list. The island scored better for e-government systems and e-infrastructure, coming in at 30th in both cases.

But it only ranked 43rd for internet affordability and a lowly 52nd for e-security. 

The research shows that people in Malta have to work two hours 15 minutes to afford the cheapest broadband internet package and six minutes 15 seconds for the cheapest 1GB of mobile internet, both results significantly better than the global average, the researchers behind the index, compiled by cybersecurity company Surfshark, found. 

How was internet quality calculated? 

The results from each pillar come from 14 indicators so that a measure of the overall digital quality of life in each country could be reached. 

Internet quality - which Malta ranked 59th for - was calculated by combining the average download speeds for broadband and mobile internet, together with the stability of broadband and mobile internet networks during the pandemic and the rate at which internet speeds are increasing. 

Malta ranked 22nd for broadband speeds and 34th for mobile internet speeds. But its internet stability scores were dismal, ranking 76th for broadband and 100th for mobile internet stability. 

Repeated concerns about internet quality

This is not the first time that questions over internet quality in Malta have been raised. 

During the partial lockdown that forced tens of thousands to work from home and children to follow lessons online, several users complained of a slowdown of service.

Some experienced interruptions in service as demand spiked. The main internet service providers, however, had assured that they were able to cope with the increased demand.

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