Internet in Greece
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The Internet in Greece relied on PSTN/ISDN modem dial-up from 1990 until 2003, when ADSL was commercially launched by incumbent operator OTE. ADSL2+, VDSL2 and GPON are currently the main broadband standards. Greece also has 3G, 4G, 4G+ and occasionally 5G mobile broadband (HSPA) and a more expensive Satellite Internet access. Greece has an extensive fiber optic network throughout the country.
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- Top-level domain: .gr
- Internet users: 6.0 million users, 52nd in the world; 56.0% of the population, 71st in the world (2012).
- Fixed broadband: 2.5 million subscriptions, 32nd in the world; 23.5% of the population, 40th in the world (2012).
- Wireless broadband: 4.8 million, 38th in the world; 44.5% of the population, 35th in the world (2012).
- Internet hosts: 3.2 million hosts, 32nd in the world (2012).
- IPv4: 5,549,568 addresses allocated, 0.1% of the world total, 515 addresses per 1,000 people (2012).
- Internet service providers (ISPs): Approximately 23 ISPs. Two Tier 1 ISPs. NCSR Demokritos was the first Hellenic Internet Service Provider ariadnet.
It is expected that Greece by October 2020 will be connected to Cyprus, Israel, Italy, France and Spain with Quantum Cable, 7,700 km ultra high speed fiber-optic submarine communications cable. It is expected to have 160 Tbit/s (terabits per second), capacity enough to handle up to 60% of the world’s internet traffic at peak time (2018). The Quantum Cable will be laid at same time with the 2,000 MW EuroAsia Interconnector. It will upgrade Greece to telecom hub.
FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) is a form of fiber-optic communication delivery that reaches one living or working space. The fiber extends from the central office to the subscriber's living or working space. Once at the subscriber's living or working space, the signal may be conveyed throughout the space using any means, including twisted pair, coaxial cable, wireless, power line communication, or optical fiber.
The main FTTH provider are:
- Inalan - https://www.inalan.gr (Coverage in Athens & Thessaloniki, Speeds from 100/100 Mbit/s to 1Gbit/s)
- HCN - http://www.hcn.gr (Coverage in Thessaloniki, Speeds up to 10 Gbit/s)
- from April 2018 Kilkis, Greece
- Vodafone Greece - http://www.vodafone.gr (Coverage in Athens - 2018, Thessaloniki - 2019, Patras - 2019)
Cosmote have also run trials for FTTH for speeds up to 1 Gbit/s.
Internet speed in Greece today
The available speeds are:
- up to 24 Mbit/s ADSL2+
- up to 200 Mbit/s VDSL2 (with Supervectoring)
- up to 120 Mbit/s FTTB
- up to 250 Mbit/s AWMN (Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network)
- up to 1 Gbit/s FTTO/FTTH
Mobile broadband access
Mobile broadband offers are available from all three national mobile phone operators Cosmote, Vodafone Greece and WIND Hellas, with up to 375 Mbit/s downlink speeds. Mobile broadband was heavily marketed during 2008 by all three, leading to a surge in mobile Internet usage, primarily with mobile professionals and young users.
Downstreams are realized via (HSDPA) technology with speeds for Wind Hellas and Cosmote reaching up to 28.8 Mbit/s and for Vodafone Greece up to 42.2 Mbit/s. Upstreams of all three providers are realized via HSUPA technology, reaching up to 5.76 Mbit/s.
Greece is covered by two satellite internet providers:
- Hellas-Sat offers satellite service under the "Hellas Sat Net" brandname. OTE, as one of the owners of Hellas Sat, offers Hellas Sat Net service through its own distribution channels (website, shops etc.). The subscription packages either include a one-year commitment that is automatically renewed as unlimited time service after one year, or as a six-month limited subscription for "seasonal business" (as described on the oteshop website) that is renewable on demand.
The equipment is installed by Hellas Sat accredited engineers and it includes a Satnet S3020 DVB - RCS VSAT Terminal (Advantech) satellite modem and a 0,96 m Antenna (satellite dish with transmitter receiver). Hellas Sat Net connections are also used to interconnect public administration offices and schools in remote areas (mostly remote islands of the Aegean Sea) to the national administration network Syzefxis and to the Internet).
- Tooway covers Greece with broadband satellite Internet. Since 2011 they offer a downstream speed of up to 22 Mbit/s and an upstream speed of up to 6 Mbit/s. They address private and business customers and have a variety of packages reaching from traffic metered packages to flatrate programmes.
- BigBlu is a UK company that begun offering satellite internet connection since August 2019 to the Greek market. Unlimited packages with speed of up to 50 Mbit/s and an upstream speed of up to 6 Mbit/s. They address private customers all over the country where telephone lines do not exist or underperform.
Internet censorship and surveillance
The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. Independent media are active and express a wide variety of views. Individuals can criticize the government publicly or privately without reprisal, and the government does not impede criticism. However, the law provides for prosecution of individuals who "intentionally incite others to actions that could provoke discrimination, hatred, or violence against persons or groups of persons on the basis of their race or ethnic origin or who express ideas insulting to persons or to groups of persons because of their race or ethnic origin." In practice the government has never invoked these provisions. The law permits any prosecutor to order the seizure of publications that insult the president, offend any religion, contain obscenity, advocate for the violent overthrow of the political system, or disclose military secrets. The law provides criminal penalties for defamation, however, in most criminal defamation cases, authorities released defendants on bail pending trial and they served no time in jail. The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence. However, NGOs such as the Greek Helsinki Monitor report that authorities do not always respect these provisions in practice.
On October 28, 2012 police arrested a Greek journalist, Kostas Vaxevanis, for violating personal privacy laws for publishing the "Lagarde List" of more than 2,000 alleged Greek tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts. On November 1, a court acquitted him; prosecutors appealed the verdict, and a re-trial date was pending at the end of 2012. In the 2013 re-trial, he was acquitted again.
In September 2012 the cyber-crime police arrested a 27-year-old man, F. Loizos, charging him with "malicious blasphemy and insulting religion". The man reportedly created a Facebook page under the name "Elder Pastitsios" that played on the name of a legendary Mount Athos monk famous for his prophecies about Greece and Orthodox Christianity, and the name of a popular Greek dish. The cyber-crime police seized the man’s laptop and removed the Facebook page. On January 16, 2014, he was found guilty of "repeatedly insulting religion" and was sentenced to ten months in jail, suspended while the prosecutor had recommended a smaller sentence. In the 2017 re-trial, however, the court acquitted Loizos.
On June 29, 2009, George Sanidas, the soon-to-be-retired Prosecutor of the Greek Supreme Court (Areios Pagos), declared that "Internet-based communications are not covered by current privacy laws" and are thus open to surveillance by the police. Such surveillance would be, according to Sanidas's mandate, completely legal. Following this proclamation, Greek bloggers, legal experts and notable personalities from the media have claimed that Sanidas's mandate contravenes both the Greek constitution and current EU laws regarding the privacy of Internet communications. Furthermore, this mandate has been greatly criticised as being a first step towards full censorship of all Internet content.
- Greek Internet Exchange (GR-IX), an independent, non-profit Internet exchange point located in Athens.
- Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) (Greek: Εθνικό Δίκτυο Έρευνας και Τεχνολογίας, ΕΔΕΤ), the national research and education network of Greece.
- Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. (Greek: Οργανισμός Τηλεπικοινωνιών Ελλάδος Α.Ε.), known by its Greek initials OTE, is the dominant telecommunications provider in Greece.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State.
- "Communications: Greece", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 4 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
- "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
- "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at Archive.today, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
- Population, The World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
- "Internet Service Providers - Greece", IPduh. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- 'Superfast' internet cable to cross Mediterranean sea, Business Insider, January 16, 2018
- 'Superfast' internet cable to cross Mediterranean sea, Chicago Tribune, January 16, 2018
- Superfast internet cable to cross Mediterranean sea, Star Herald
- ‘Quantum Cable’ to revolutionise global telecoms, Cyprus Mail 18.1.2018
- 'Superfast' internet cable to cross Mediterranean sea, Phys.org
- Quantum Cable
- The first large FTTH network by Vodafone in Greece
- OTE Group develops Fiber to the Home network
- "HCN". hcn.gr. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "COSMOTE: Ζήσε την εμπειρία του Cosmote 4G". cosmote.gr. Cosmote. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Προγράμματα Vodafone Mobile Broadband (Vodafone Mobile Broadband data tariff plans), (in Greek) (in English). Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "Understanding Internet Censorship Policy: The Case of Greece (PDF Download Available)". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
- "Greece", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, April 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "Ομόφωνα αθώος ο Κώστας Βαξεβάνης για τη λίστα Λαγκάρντ (English: Kostas Vaxevanis unanimously acquitted for the Lagarde List)". KoutiPandoras.gr. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Δέκα μήνες στον ...«Γέροντα Παστίτσιο» [Ten months to... "the Elder Pastitsios"] (in Greek). Pegasus Network. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- "Facebook page mocking Greek Orthodox monk leads to jail sentence". The Guardian. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Michos, Nikos (January 16, 2014). Δέκα μήνες για τον Γέροντα Παστίτσιο [Ten months for Elder Pastitsios] (in Greek). tvxs. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Καταδίκη του «Γέροντα Παστίτσιου» [Conviction of "Elder Pastitsios"] (in Greek). Ethnos newspaper. January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- "Απαλλάχτηκε ο "Γέροντας Παστίτσιος" (English: "Elder Pastitsios" is acquitted)". Efsyn.gr. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Troktiko website". Troktiko.blogspot.com. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- * "Σπάει το απόρρητο των επικοινωνιών στο Ιντερνετ" (in Greek) ("Breaks the confidentiality of communications on the Internet" (in English)), Alexander Avlonitis, ΕΘΝΟΣ.gr, Nation Publishing SA, 30 June 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- Greece on the Internet, IPduh.
- www.adslgr.com, an independent review site for broadband in Greece (in Greek).
- .GR Registry, domain name registry, Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas (FORTH).
- .GR.COM, alternative domain name registry, CentralNIC.
- GR-IX, Greek Internet Exchange (in Greek).
- ΕΔΕΤ (in Greek), GRNET (in English), research and education network of Greece.