Broadband access markets come into focus

Published November 10th, 2009 - 01:42 GMT

The latest broadband tariff report from Point Topic, Broadband Tariff Benchmarks Q3 2009, has just been released collating the worldwide data to the end of September.

“Within the world broadband consumer market the three dominant access technologies are becoming more clearly defined. Fibre is a more expensive option in total cost but provides the most for your money. DSL is the cheapest per month, but the most per megabit. Cable providers are caught in between, they can’t offer the highest speeds, in areas where consumers can get fibre, they can’t offer the lowest prices where consumers can get DSL so they are forging a middle path,†says Fiona Vanier, Senior Analyst at Point Topic.



The biggest change in the year to date has been the roll-out of DOCSIS3.0 in a number of markets. This has enabled cable operators to increase the speeds on offer, up over 43% worldwide in the last 12 months on average, across all their tariffs and that has enabled them to increase prices (up 17%) while still delivering more per dollar than they have been.

In contrast DSL worldwide entry level prices have actually dropped 2% on average in the last 12 months and speeds have increased by 5%. While many operators are implementing ADSL2+, allowing up to 24Mbps as opposed to a maximum of 8Mbps on ADSL, these speeds are not often offered as an entry level service. However it does mean the DSL ISPs can target narrower markets and focus on a low overall cost strategy to help differentiate themselves from cable and fibre operators, or indeed their own offerings using different delivery technologies.

Fibre prices have increased in the last 12 months on a global average by 7% and speeds for an entry level subscription have risen by 6.8%. This means that the price per megabit has increased marginally. FTTx continues to be the fastest growing delivery technology in subscriber terms and to date it has been eroding the cable market share.

Cable suppliers have made the most changes to their entry level services in the last 12 months. The proportionally greater change to bandwidth than to the pricing means that the cost per megabit of an entry level cable subscription has fallen by over 32%, versus a 25% fall for DSL with fibre remaining static.

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