U.S. residential broadband prices have remained stable over the past three years, according to comprehensive new research conducted by the Technology Policy Institute, titled “Residential and Business Broadband Prices, Part 2: International Comparisons.” During the same period, residential prices in some other OECD countries have fallen, as have U.S. business broadband prices.
The median U.S. residential broadband was $500 per year, which put it in the middle of the pack of 30 countries studied. Countries with lower median residential broadband prices were primarily in Europe, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Countries with higher median prices included some other European countries such as Austria. Portugal and Turkey, as well as New Zealand, Mexico, South Korea and Australia.
At more than $1,000 a year, the median U.S. triple play bundle was one of the priciest, exceeding the median price for all other countries studied except Slovakia. The report authors note, though, that the U.S. also has the highest median number of video channels, which may have contributed to its higher triple play price.
The median U.S. business broadband price was around $1,000 per year, ranking it near the middle of the 30 countries in the study, and the specific countries with higher and lower median pricing was similar to what was found for residential broadband services. Unlike with U.S. residential broadband prices, however, U.S. broadband prices have fallen by 15-25% over the past three years, researchers found. Faster broadband plans have shown the largest decrease in price, at over 30%, they said.
“One explanation for decreasing business broadband prices is that they simply reflect poor macroeconomic conditions,” the Technology Policy Institute report said. “Economic downturns put pressure on firms to reduce costs, which, in turn, may cause them to approach suppliers of inputs—including broadband service—and request lower prices. Another possibility is that there may be more competition for business customers.”