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Global Broadband Tariff (Price) Comparisons

Posted: 26th Apr, 2007 By: MarkJ
Ever wonder where the cheapest broadband Internet access can be found? Well, according to Point-Topic's new worldwide tariff benchmark, it's South East Asia (SEA). There you'll find the lowest residential xDSL rental of US$19 (under £10) per month, half that reported in the Asia Pacific region.

So how does Europe and the rest of the world fair?:

Of the seven regions, SEA has the lowest residential DSL rental of US$19 per month, half of the cost of those reported in the Asia Pacific region. This is due to the rather slow connection speed of DSL services offered by China Telecom. The average download speed in the SEA region is 1,761Kbps, compared to 7,738Kbps in the Asia Pacific region.

Western Europe and North America come very close in terms of pricing. The average DSL service charge in Western Europe is US$49.3 with a downloading speed of 4,172Kbps, slightly cheaper than the price in North America. In Europe, Eastern Europe has an average price of US$39.8 for residential DSL services, about 19.2% cheaper than the average charge in Western Europe, but also providing almost 50% less in terms of connection speed.

With a relatively young and monopolistic market, where services are primarily being provided by the state-owned incumbents, the Latin and South American market has a relatively high service rental of US$65.6 per month. Furthermore, due the under developed broadband infrastructures, the average download speed of the service is much slower in Latin America than in any other region.

For North America, the region where the market share of cable modem is well over 50%, we cover 14 major cable modem operators. With such a highly competitive market, the service price and speed are key factors to attracting customers. Comparing DSL and cable modem services, the latter services provide much faster speeds (6,984Kbps on average) at a much cheaper price. Among them, RCN offers the cheapest cable modem service with speeds of up to 1.5Mbps.

For cable modem services, the SEA region has the cheapest residential cable modem service, priced at US$15.8 per month. You Telecom of India, being the only cable operator in the region we track, offers various residential tariffs ranging from 192Kbps to 2Mbps. The average downstream speed is 656Kbps for residential grades and 480Kbps for business grades.

The summary also goes on to highlight the cost of fibre (FTTx) broadband services and they're cheaper than you might think:

As a region leading FTTx deployment, the Asia Pacific has one of the lowest average price for residential FTTx services, priced at US$37.8 and with download speeds of up to 100Mbps. Although Eastern Europe has a still cheaper average price of US$30.8 the services are primarily fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) where multiple users share a single fibre link within the building. As a result the average service is slower - 40Mps.

We note that Point-Topic appears to be basing these speeds off the headline figure rather than a practical average from actual customer usage. From some people we know in FTTx using countries, the technology can be just as prone to poor performance as ADSL. One Swedish friend of mine is hooked up to a supposedly 100Mbps link, yet rarely does he see speeds above 2Mbps.
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