Report: Global Average Broadband Cost and Speed Rises

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Average broadband cost and speed for residential service rose just over 7 percent quarterly around the world in 1Q 2017, rising to $105 from $98 in 4Q 2016, according to Point Topic’s latest global survey of residential and commercial broadband services. Monthly charges rose across all three delivery modes: copper, cable and fiber.The global average monthly cost for business broadband held steady quarter to quarter at $201, despite a 6 percent rise in average bandwidth. An increase in the bandwidth of cable broadband business connections – up 12 percent quarterly — was the main driver. An increase in the speed of fiber-based business broadband speeds contributed as well, rising 4 percent quarterly in 1Q, Point Topic highlights.

In North America, average residential broadband service bandwidth rose an additional 8 percent quarterly in 1Q as U.S. and Canadian ISPs continued upgrading network infrastructure, including deployment of gigabit FTTH and DOCSIS 3.1 cable broadband services.

Average Broadband Cost

That said, North America ranks behind Western Europe and Asia-Pacific in terms of residential broadband value. The best value for money in residential broadband service was to be found in Western Europe, surpassing that in Asia-Pacific in 1Q, according to Point Topic.

The lowest prices for business broadband were to be found in Western Europe and the Americas. Asia-Pacific was the most expensive market, although business broadband services in the region had the highest average speed (427 Mbps) and lowest average cost per Mbps bandwidth, $0.93 on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis.

Point Topic attributes the across-the-board increases in residential broadband services to carriers charging higher prices for faster broadband service – the average speed for residential services across all three delivery modes rose to 124 Mbps in 1Q. That’s up 5 percent from an average 118 Mbps in 4Q’16.

Expanding FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) and DOCSIS 3.1 carrier network footprints, as well as greater availability of connectivity, will continue to fuel the rising trend in average residential broadband speeds globally, according to the market research provider.

Residential Broadband Data

Breaking out the residential broadband subscription and speed data, copper-based services were the cheapest — $71 on average – but also the slowest – an average 14 Mbps. Monthly cable broadband subscriptions averaged $78, while speeds averaged 133 Mbps. The monthly average fiber-based broadband subscription cost $93, while speeds averaged 195 Mbps.

The comparative value of copper-based broadband rose as the average cost per megabit declined in 1Q as increases in speed were more than sufficient to offset a rise in monthly subscription prices. The average cost per megabit for cable and fiber broadband services rose slightly. The average global cost per Mbps for all three broadband delivery modes came in at $0.85 in 1Q as compared to $0.83 as of 4Q’16.

Business Broadband Data

Turning to business broadband, the global monthly average subscription costs rose slightly across all three delivery modes. The rate of increase was slowest for copper-based business broadband, which rose to $150 quarter-to-quarter in 1Q despite a declining subscriber base. The average monthly cost of cable-based business broadband came in at $106, while the global average cost for fiber-based business broadband came in at $242.

Global average business broadband speed rose quarterly in 1Q, in aggregate to 100 Mbps across all three delivery modes. The rate of increase was slowest for copper, to 12 Mbps, despite a declining subscriber base.

Cable-based business broadband speeds averaged 154 Mbps. Fiber-based business broadband speeds average 161 Mbps.

On a cost per Mbps basis, global average business broadband decreased 6 percent quarterly in 1Q to $2.01. Point Topic registered decreases all three delivery modes.

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