back to article Broadband pricing in US and Europe falls

Broadband pricing in Europe and the US fell €5 a month, on average, as broadband speeds went up by an average of 20 per cent during the last year, says researcher Analysys Mason. This is after a relatively flat period during the past recession, when prices held up. Now the average price paid for a fixed broadband service …

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  1. Da Weezil
    FAIL

    Joke survey

    I get so weary of these surveys of bundles which are not available in MANY areas of the UK. The figures are useless... much of the UK is still in the grip of "Market 1" where BTw are allowed to bleed punters dry for low caps and poor speeds - employing "leverage pricing" to persuade people to move to 21cn services even though they are not available on many exchanges, and the 21cn roll out seem to be slipping back - possibly the investment has been switched to FTTC in those luck areas already well served by faster broadband.

    Time the EU looked at the over cosy relationship between the faux regulator and BTw (and others), UK pricing is a farce,, the worse the service - the more you pay!

    Best not to get started on the behaviour of one "bundled player" whose line checker recently seemed to be announcing that all Market 1 exchanges checked were about to be unbundled.. the checker has changed now to reflect the real situation - but I wonder how many people were conned into signing up to the over contended 8 meg service this company offers only to be told a few weeks into contract *"Sorry we wont now give you the promised faster service but you can enjoy the nightly crawl on our resold BTw product until the contract we conned you into expires."* although I doubt they ave been told.. and wont be until they are well out of any cooling off period.

    Broadband regulation in the UK is a sick joke.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Grenade

      Er...no.

      "much of the UK is still in the grip of "Market 1" where BTw are allowed to bleed punters dry for low caps and poor speeds"

      >Much of the UK

      Hardly. In geographical terms, perhaps, but in population terms it's less than 12% of premises (see Ofcom's latest report).

      > Where BTw are allowed to bleed punters dry...

      Part 1:Want some cheese with that whine? It's not BT's fault. If you want to bleat do so toward the LLUOs. It's hardly BT's fault that other companies are choosing not to install their equipment in M1 exchanges. People on M1 exchanges (and to a lesser extent those on M2 exchanges) should be whining at the LLUOs for ignoring them. Those on M1 exchanges should be grateful to BT for being the only telecoms company that judges them worth bothering with.

      Part 2:In any case it's Ofcom that mandates BT's pricing on M1 exchanges. That's the whole frickin' point of making the distinction. BT only has free reign at M3 and it has dropped prices there. The idea is supposed to be that by keeping M1/M2 prices high Ofcom is making room for LLUOs. The fact it's failed is not BT's fault. Blame Ofcom for pratting around and the LLUOs for putting profits before investment.

      > ..for low caps and poor speeds.

      Pinot Noir is it? Sheesh. Caps have nothing to do with your exchange and nothing to do with BT unless you choose them as your ISP. They relate to the backhaul and core network. If you want to blame anyone for caps then blame everyone companies equally:

      * ISPs for wanting to make a profit.

      * Ofcom for dicking around with BTw's pricing and forcing them to go for a flat, per-central rate.

      * Customers (yes, that's YOU) for refusing to pay a decent price for their service.

      Speeds equally are not related to your exchange. It's line length, dummy. There are people in the heart of London who get shitty speeds because their line is long. There are also people in the depths of Dumfries & Galloway (the back-end of beyond where I've just spent a week) who get full speed because they live within sight of the exchange.

      >Broadband regulation in the UK is a sick joke.

      Now that I agree with. BT (and to be fair the other ISPs) are just trying to make a profit. Unfortunately Ofcom in cahoots with customers have driven prices so low that there's almost no RoI. The only reason BT can roll-out FTTC is because of its size and reach. Note that LLUOs are only intending to piggy back on that technology.

      If we want a proper 21st century local loop then we need to see prices rising to £50pcm. At those levels it begins to make sense to invest the vast sums needed. In the meantime those living on small or remote exchanges just need to accept that the reason humans invented urbanisation is because it's easiest (therefore cheapest) way to provide services.

      Here endeth the lesson.

  2. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Odd...

    we just got a price increase around here from all the ISPs. I'm paying 3 euros more than 2 months ago(1 eur per plan(phone,tv,net)). Others are paying more as well.

    I wonder where they are getting these numbers from(and this is with a 13mbit/1.5mbit connection)...

  3. Doug Glass
    Go

    Bullshit!

    Comcast just went up $4 per month and where Comcast goes others follow. The moron author must be living in an LA cave. LA being "Lower Alabama".

  4. JaitcH
    WTF?

    Nothing really fell, they just reduced consumer fraud, a little

    Given these pitiful speeds that alleged technologically advanced Western nations supply the exorbitant, blatant consumer overcharging has been reduced A LITTLE.

    Seoul, Korea, 100 MBytes, people. THAT is high speed.

    Also remember that HUGE tracts of land have NO SERVICE in the West yet other countries can deliver 20 Mbytes in small villages some 50-100 kilometres from middle sized metropolitan areas. Start using pole mounter DSLAMs and stop using 'too far from the exchange/central office' as an excuse for poor service.

  5. hiddenA

    cheap

    40 euros monthly. This does sound like a rather steep price for an Internet connection.

    I pay 19.95 for 20Mbps down and 1.5Mbps upload in Amsterdam (from Tele2). 40 euros would get me 60Mbps down and 6 Mbps upload (from UPC).

    1. RegKees
      Happy

      hey, we Dutch are cheap...

      I pay about €50,- for a 25Mbit line, but that includes cable tv and unlimited phone calls nationwide.

      It's a little easier to hook up a country that is small but densely populated, and relatively rich, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      40EUR for a bundle

      The 40 Euro price is for Broadband bundled with at least one other service - voice or TV or both.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    right....

    Our internet bill went up $5 about 2 months ago (don't get me started on the ridiculous fees for voice lines AT&T charges...) and that's for 1.5 Mbit connection.

    If you look on their website they increased all of their dsl plans by that amount.

    Of course I guess Verizon could just have lowered their prices by $10 to get the average 5 euro/dollar decrese, eh?

  7. Jean-Luc

    Where is Canada in all this?

    Funnily enough, they are not tracking Canadian costs. Those are not trending down much. Esp. not in wireless data.

    @Jaitch, might be useful to keep in mind that South Korea is easy to wire up - lotsa dense flats. It's always been a poster child for hi-speed. Wonder how rural South Korea fares.

    Canada is not the flip side of S. Korea btw. This place is big, but most of the population lives near the US border and cell providers have fairly limited coverage area requirements to hit a good chunk of our population. But it's always worth a good excuse and our useless government regulator's (CRTC) main contribution to date has been to limit competition by objecting to foreign ownership.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Broadband?

    Broadband? What's broadband? still stuck in the 56k modem days here, and will probably never see anything remotely close to high speed.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Happy

      That's nothing...

      My mother-in-law has a 56k modem and gets 14-20kbs on a good day - probably because she's on a hill and the data slows down going up the hill?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish it was that cheap.

    I can't complain (much) about the quality of the service, but Verizon charges me about $135 for a bundle of Voice, TV and Broadband (that's after you include the $10/month charge for a HD set top box to actually watch the TV that you're paying to receive - the advertised price for the service bundle doesn't include the necessary equipment to actually get a picture from their cable into your TV. Note that $10/month just gets you a set top box - a DVR will set you back $16/month).

    The fact that some people in the US manage to get a cheaper price from their cable company probably doesn't change the average much - the vast majority of end users end up paying the advertised price, plus the cost of any STBs required to use the service, which isn't reflected in this survey. And I'd bet that the average prices for US customers are considerably higher than they are for European customers - most of the people I know pay a lot more than EUR40 (=USD50) on Cable TV alone, never mind phone or Broadband.

  10. The Envoy
    Happy

    Money = speed?

    Just to add to the confusion and the fact that the pricing is all over the place:

    I pay 16 Euro/20 US$/£13 for a 100Mbps connection here in Sweden.

  11. Eddie Johnson
    FAIL

    Author's First Mistake? Believing the Advertising

    "“Almost 20% of the tariffs we tracked during the second quarter of 2010 offered down- stream bandwidths of 30Mbps or greater"

    The key word there being "offered." Not delivered.

    No one I know of offers bandwidths of "30Mbps" or anything greater than that, anyway. They offer bandwiths of "up to..." and then they proceed to deliver 3Mbps if you are lucky. At off hours. When your neighbors are all on vacation.

    They haven't gotten cheaper or faster, they've gotten better at lying*. How about doing some testing of these connections at various times of the day to determine what the actual downstream bandwidth is?

    *In a lawyer approved fashion of course, with a 4 point disclaimer at the bottom of the page that can't be read without a magnifying lens.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Some places must have done well

    As the 5 euro drop is an average and there has been no fall here in Greece, some other countries must have done considerably better. In fact, there has been a small rise here due to the increase in VAT, which most small shops have managed to absorb, but ISPs haven't.

    @hiddenA:

    40 euros monthly may sound like a lot, but this is what I pay and am quite happy with it. The service is up to 24Mbps down/1Mbs up. I manage to get around 13.5Mbps down and pretty well the full 1Mbps up. This speed rarely drops, even at peak times, there is no throttling, no caps, no limits of any kind. I've had 100 GB days and one month hit 1.6 terabytes of downloads, all without any reaction from the ISP regarding "fair" use or any other limitations to the unlimited service. The charge also includes the line rental and unlimited free calls to fixed lines in over 40 countries. One hour per month to national mobiles plus 100 web originated SMS messages are also included. Using the free minutes to mobiles in conjunction with a free call diverting service that is also part of the package, I can divert any calls coming to my home that aren't picked up after 5 rings to my mobile. Does this still sound expensive? Expensive, to me, was the pre-broadband line rental of 16.5 euros plus 30 cents per hour for 56kbps dial-up (half that for night usage from 22:00 to08:00) and all calls and extra services charged for. Even being ex-directory carried a monthly charge for some benighted reason. Easily way more than 40 euros per month to the phone monopoly we had then, and there was still an ISP to pay to get a number you could call to establish your dial-up connection hoping that not all the contended modems were in use. Yes, contention then meant not getting access at all, not just a temporary speed drop.

    Of course I'd be happier to pay less and/or get more, who wouldn't? At the same time I'd worry about it not being sustainable, and would hate the prospect of reduced services to ensure viability.

    The situation in the UK should improve after the Olympics. Before the 2004 Olympics here, the situation was dire. Slow (384kbps) broadband, extremely expensive (think hundreds of euros) and exceedingly limited availability. The infrastructure was vastly improved so as not to embarrass the nation in front of all the visiting press and public, then after the games finished this allowed cheaper, faster and broader access immediately. Seems to be the only benefit we got from the incredibly expensive Olympics unless you count disused sporting facilities rapidly falling into decay.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No price move in France

    The cartel price in France has been €29.95 from everyone for 2-3 years now and has not moved in the last month...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Overpriced, terrible speeds, rubbish support, and practically no accountability...

    The title describes the state of 'broadband' in Britain IMO. And we seem to be paying through the nose here for a lot of 'disconnected' and very poor services. I'm certainly unwilling to pay any more for all this overrated crap! I already pay too much for a rarely used landline, and fixed line broadband that is useful only when I'm at home...but costs a packet nonetheless. Plus I'm paying for an overpriced mobile tariff with inclusive data tariff that is useful for the occasional email or checking the weather...blah. If you are a spotty teenager without any concept of 'too much' or one of the millions of sorry sods having a collective mid life crisis on facebook then this will mean nothing...there are no boundaries...I need...I need....I need.

    For the less insane I believe all the wonders of instant access to everything and everyone isn't worth the fluffy toilet paper its being rolled out on. Quite frankly I wish people would stop ******* phoning and emailing me and go do something useful else instead...like get some sodding exercise AND leave their stupid phones at home. I don't care that you're in the park feeding the wretched ducks. Join a ruddy religion or something...you obviously have too much time on your hands.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Web Prices

    So the survey is based on advertised prices? Except those are for new customers aren't they? They are much lower than existing customers will get charged on renewal. So this survey doesn't tell us what people are paying for their broadband, but what they would be paying if they changed suppliers.

    Let me tell you a story...

    I changed ISP and telco last month. I was happy with the service provided by my ISP/telco, but the price was a little high. Over the last few months I've called them several times to ask if they would bring my charges to the price advertised for new customers. I was out of contract so they could have signed me up for a new contract term if they'd wanted to. Even when I threatened to leave I was told there was nothing they could do. I was on unlimitted broadband, phone line rental and free evening and weekend calls. Another company was advertising a similar package but with all geographic coded calls free at £7.99 PCM less. New customers at my existind ISP were getting that same service for £5.99 less than I was paying, still £2 more than the competition but less than I was paying. I asked my exisiting supplier one last time if I could move onto that rate and they refused. So I signed up with the competition.

    The day after I signed up with the new provider and requested a MAC from the old provider, the old provider called me up. They immediately offered me the same deal as I was taking up with the new provider for 5p less PCM. That's right £8.04 less than I had been paying for the last two years and £6.04 less than they would charge a new customer. I would, they told me, be a fool not to stay. Surely, I countered, I would be a fool to stay with a company who had by their own admission been ripping me off for two years. Or at least since the first day I asked them to changed my contract.

    Of course the interesting thing was that they obviously knew who I was switching to since that 5p was no coincidence.

    I remember years ago the government promised us that they were going to put an end to special deals for new customers and force companies to charge all their customers the same. Never happened did it? I suspect that with most monthly charged services prices would be lower than they are now if the "new customer" deals were outlawed since the suppliers would be forced to compete on equal terms.

    Likewise Ofcon's stupid ruling allowing ISPs to charge different prices depending on whether you connect to BTw gear or the ISPs own gear. There should be one advertised price for a given service regardless of the customer's exchange, location or anything else. This would effectively force all these ISPs to install their gear in all exchanges. The current system actually supports a BT monopoly since ISPs can charge much more for people connected to less profitable exchanges. This means BT customers are less likely to change to other ISPs or if they do they will still, unwittingly, be BTw customers. Actually BT would probably be happier since it would force up other ISPs advertised prices (in order to subsidise installing gear in exchanges) and it would also mean BTw weren't having to charge out services at Ofcon mandated rates.

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