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By: MarkJ - 12 May, 2010 (6:36 AM)
point topicThe latest Q1-2010 Point Topic UK research into worldwide broadband access tariffs has revealed that the overall price of a single Megabit (1Mbps) of bandwidth has dropped across all internet delivery technologies in the last quarter. The cost of a megabit over DSL ( ADSL , ADSL2+ etc.) has dropped by 4% in the quarter, Cable Modem ( DOCSIS ) is down by 3% and fibre optic ( FTTH etc.) by more than 5% over the period.

The new generation of superfast fibre optic broadband services still appears to offer more megabits per second for your money, largely due to high top speeds of 100Mbps (Megabits per second). However it should be said that Point Topic's data is largely based off advertised rates and not actual throughput, with real-world performance often being far lower.

usd tariff per 1 broadband megabit q1 2010

Fiona Vanier, Senior Analyst at Point Topic, said:

"Competition with other suppliers and other technologies has kept up the downward pressure on bandwidth prices in the last few months. In the last 12 months the price of bandwidth over fibre has dropped by just over 7%, in the same period DSL bandwidth costs fell twice that but the real movement has been in cable bandwidth which is almost 20% cheaper per megabit than 12 months ago on a worldwide basis."

The reason for speed becoming cheaper is, as with the fibre optic broadband example above, often due to technological changes in internet access delivery. The growing adoption of 'up to' 24Mbps ADSL2+ based services and similar advances with rival solutions (50Mbps via cable from Virgin Media UK) often result in speed boosts being offered for only a small change in package price (many are given away for free).

Europe in particular has seen significant increases in megabits on offer which have tripled since early 2008 with little change in price, down just over 8% in the same period. While in North America prices have edged up by about 17% and speeds have only increased by about 66%.

The study also took a sample of major cable operators from around the world and found that their average advertised tariffs are 2% higher than they were 2 years ago but 10% lower than 5 years ago, without allowing for inflation. Bandwidth however has changed dramatically from an average of 1.7Mbps in 2005, passing 10Mbps in early 2008 and now the average advertised bandwidth over a cable connection is just over 17Mbps. In comparison DSL has increased from 5.5Mbps offered on average in 2008 to 5.7Mbps today.
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