Broadband prices continue to fall

The average cost per megabit of both residential and business broadband continues to decline worldwide with services delivered over cable and fibre networks remaining less expensive per megabit than those delivered using copper/DSL, Point Topic claims.

Point Topic has compiled the latest edition of its global tariff analysis exploring the state of fixed broadband services worldwide, looking at prices and speeds from thousands of services across multiple countries in Q1 2015.

Their analysis confirms that the average cost per megabit of residential and business broadband continues to fall for services delivered over cable and fibre networks.

They also find DSL services provided over copper networks continue to be more expensive per megabit, particularly in the absence of competition from other providers. “As is the case with residential services, the average cost per megabit prices for fibre and cable are more closely matched at comfortably under US$5 while the average price for copper broadband services is much higher at US$18.25 in Q1 2015,” the researchers claim. Across the world on a cost per megabit basis, “Services delivered over copper networks continue to be by far the most expensive and are now more than ten times pricier than those delivered over cable or fibre networks,” they said.

Western Europe enjoys the lowest average price for residential broadband services, Point Topic confirms, while Albania and Iran offer the lowest price entry level residential broadband services.

Western Europe offers the best combination of speed and price when it comes to business broadband services, the analysts point out. Asia Pacific region services are marginally faster, but are also the most expensive. “Business broadband services in the MEA and South and East Asia regions tend to offer the worst combinations of speed and price,” said analysts.

Overall the cost of broadband connectivity seems to be in decline. Point Topic assesses the global average cost per megabit of business broadband services to be $3.77 in Q1 2015, down from $4.10 in the previous quarter. Residential broadband prices declined 1.6 percent to $1.23 per megabit.

PointTopic’s research is generally good reading, but the reality of digital infrastructure deployment remains challenging. The difference between those who have and those who lack broadband access means that even in the US 17 percent (55 million) Americans lack access to fixed broadband, according to the FCC, and this pattern of lack of available service is replicated worldwide. Non-fixed line alternatives such as mobile or satellite broadband provision may help mitigate this digital divide.

PointTopic compares entry level and average tariffs from the pool of 3,086 residential broadband services from operators across 86 countries in Q1 2015.

Each 10 percent increase in broadband penetration generates a GDP increase of 1 per cent, according to the ITU. Contact us for help to make yours a connected enterprise.

Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.