Internet in Spain

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This article is about the Internet in Spain.


  • Internet users: 33.9 million users, 19th in the world; 72.0% of the population, 45th in the world (2012).[1]
  • Fixed broadband: 11.4 million subscriptions, 13th in the world; 24.3% of the population, 37th in the world (2012).[2]
  • Mobile broadband: 25.0 million subscriptions, 13th in the world; 53.2% of the population, 24th in the world (2012).[3]
  • Internet hosts: 4.2 million hosts, 26th in the world (2012).[4]
  • IPv4: 28.4 million addresses allocated, 0.7% of the world total; 604 addresses per 1000 persons (2012).[5]
  • Top level domain: .es

Fixed broadband[edit]

ADSL arrived in Spain in 1999. In some rural areas, wireless technologies (WiMAX, LMDS, Satellite, HSDPA, ...) are used to provide wired-like services, the main provider of these services is Iberbanda (a Telefónica subsidiary like Movistar), there are also other companies like San Pedro Wifi who are not part of the Telefónica monopoly. Typically San Pedro Wifi can offer speeds over 30 Mbit/s.

Virtually all wired connections are unmetered. Most broadband lines include free phone calls to land-lines within Spain and some include limited calls to mobile phones.

The highest speeds can be obtained from Ono with 50 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s through coaxial cable with DOCSIS 3.0 and in some areas, symmetric 100 Mbit/s with FTTH. The most common speed in Spain is 10 Mbit/s as it is the default offer from Movistar, the main broadband supplier in the country. Clients of other DSL companies usually have higher speeds sold as "Máxima velocidad" (maximum speed) or "Hasta 20 megas" (up to 20 Mbit/s); in those offers the speed of the connection depends on the quality of the line (length of the wire, attenuation, noise) as those speeds are just at the limit of the ADSL2+ technology. Jazztel gets better results with its "Hasta 30 megas" (up to 30 Mbit/s) because that connection works with VDSL. In opposition to those unguaranteed offers, Ono, the main cable provider, sells its connections as "x megas reales" (x true Mbps).

The main providers are:

  • Jazztel - The first ISP to provide ADSL2+ throughout the country.
  • Ono - Spain's first cable Internet/telephone and TV provider.
  • Orange - Formerly Wanadoo, the Internet branch of Uni2.
  • Movistar - Former state telecom monopoly.
  • Vodafone - ADSL and VoIP provider.
  • - Started by Jazztel, bought by Deutsche Telekom later sold to Orange.

Movistar, Ono and Jazztel offer traditional landlines while Vodafone, Orange and offer VoIP landlines (their routers usually reinject the voice to the client's previous installation).

Movistar, Ono and Orange are the main providers offering TV packages with their broadband.

Mobile broadband[edit]

The use of mobile networks for Internet access is important due to the high penetration of smart and mobile phones in Spain. The use of USB devices for computers to connect to mobile networks is also common and some fixed broadband providers offer them for free or at low cost for use on holidays.

People usually use flat rates for Internet with limits depending on the price, once that limit is reached, the speed falls from ~7 Mbit/s to ~128 kbit/s (depending on the provider) or the client pays for the extra amount of data downloaded.

There are three 2G (GSM) networks, four 3G (UMTS, HDSPA, HSUPA, etc...) networks and LTE networks are being deployed. Nearly all of Spain is covered by at least UMTS.

The main providers are:

Internet censorship in Spain[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate legal authority.[6]

The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights. The law prohibits, subject to judicial oversight, actions including public speeches and the publication of documents that the government interprets as glorifying or supporting terrorism. The law provides that persons who provoke discrimination, hatred, or violence against groups or associations for racist; anti-semitic; or other references to ideology, religion or belief, family status, membership within an ethnic group or race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, illness, or disability may be punished with imprisonment for one to three years. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence and the government generally respects these prohibitions.[6]

In 2004, the police in Spain arrested ninety people in an operation against the distribution of child pornography.[7]

In February 2008 the editor of a news website, his wife and his daughter received death threats linked to the investigation into a real estate project in which several Murcia politicians and a local businessman were allegedly involved in corrupt practices.[8]

In 2009 the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, warned Spain against cutting off the Internet access of content pirates without a judicial proceeding. She said, "If Spain cuts off Internet access without a procedure in front of a judge, it would certainly run into conflict with the European Commission" and "Repression alone will certainly not solve the problem of Internet piracy; it may in many ways even run counter to the rights and freedoms which are part of Europe's values since the French Revolution."[9]

In 2012, 16 cases were brought under the law prohibiting publications glorifying or supporting terrorism.[6]

On 13 April 2012, neo-Nazi Marc Mora Garcia was sentenced to two years in jail for spreading ideas and doctrines justifying genocide and promoting discrimination, hate, and violence through a web page.[6]

On 20 April 2012, Madrid-based Radio SER journalist Pilar Velasco was charged with violating confidentiality after posting a secretly-recorded video of a politician online and with refusing to reveal how she came by the video.[10]

In 2014, newspaper El País reported that El Agitador, a satirical blog from Lanzarote, had been ordered to pay €50,000 in three separate proceedings related to satirical cartoons which complained about widespread corruption in the region.[11]

Since January 2015, Vodafone Spain blocks as requested by the Ministry of Interior. And since 29 March 2015 thepiratebay is blocked on multiple URLs from all ISPs.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  2. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012, accessed 17 June 2013
  5. ^ Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  6. ^ a b c d "Spain", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Internet Filtering in Europe 2006-2007", OpenNet Initiative. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Renewed death threats against Murcia news website editor", Reporters Without Borders, 20 February 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Reding warns Spain against internet cut-off", Reporters Without Borders, 3 December 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Criminal charges against journalist who posted spy video of politician online", Reporters Without Borders, 26 April 2012.
  11. ^ “35.000 euros de multa por dos viñetas”, El País, 15 August 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  12. ^ Méndez, Manuel Ángel. "Vodafone bloquea a The Pirate Bay en España por orden de Mº de Cultura". Gizmodo en Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-08. 

External links[edit]

  • ESNIC, Network Information Centre of Spain, domain name registrar.
  •, supplier of WiMAX in Region de Murcia