During the period between the first quarter of 2016 to the end of last year, monthly broadband pricing decreased by almost $60 for broadband speeds of 500 Mbps or faster service, according to a new broadband price trends report from BroadbandNow. The reduction was characteristic of the direction that all pricing has gone: Down.
The organization looked at pricing data from 50 regional and national service providers and analyzed pricing across speeds and technologies. The organization suggests that the uniform reduction is due to improvements in manufacturing and better economies of scale. The highest priced speed plans fell the furthest.
“Broadband Pricing Changes: 2016 to 2022” found that plans in the 25 Mbps to 99 Mbps range fell by $8.80 (14%); plans in the 100 Mbps to 199 Mbps range fell $32.35 (33%); plans in the 200 Mbps to 499 Mbps range fell $34.39 (35%) and plans that are 500 Mbps and faster fell $59.52 (42%).
The price range for each speed bucket – from lowest to highest price for a package, including promotional rates — is fairly narrow, researchers found.
The study also found that fiber tends to be cheaper than cable for most high speed plans.
“Although the FCC defines broadband internet speeds as 25 Mbps or higher, in reality, many of the high-speed connections consumers enjoy today are capable of at least 200 Mbps,” said the broadband price trends report, which was written by BroadbandNow Editor-in-chief Tyler Cooper and data analyst and writer Jason Shevik. “Only cable and fiber can offer these types of speeds in a wired connection. Despite cable having a considerable head start in terms of deployment, the data shows that fiber internet is consistently cheaper than cable (this data excludes temporary promotional pricing).”
Of 50 providers studied, only eight still offer DSL, the researchers found. Ten offer fixed wireless – and none of those 10 companies offer any other technology. Thirteen offer fiber only while 17 offer cable only. The rest offer cable and fiber.
In March 2021, BroadbandNow reported that the COVID-19 pandemic and demand for reliable high speed data led consumers to spend $118 billion on new communications services in 2020.