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U.S. Broadband: Pay More, for Less Bandwidth


Did you know that residential broadband bandwidth is four times more expensive in the U.S. than in France? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hopes that 'ignorance is bliss' for the American consumer. Well, maybe not for much longer, because as more people learn about the apparent disparity, they become indignant towards the FCC.

Still puzzled why the International Telecommunication Union ranks the United States as the sixteenth most penetrated broadband market in the world? Hint: perhaps it's the high cost of these services.

Data drawn from eMarketer's Broadband Prices & Bundles: International Trends report shows that the average cost of 1MB of residential bandwidth in North America is about six times that paid in Japan or South Korea and four times as expensive as in France.

Likewise, the average cost of a triple-play (fixed-phone, broadband and digital TV) offering in the U.S. in June 2006 was about $100 per month, compared with an equivalent package in Japan, South Korea or France at less than half that cost.

In the more advanced broadband markets (i.e. outside North America), high-speed Internet access is becoming a loss-leader to entice customers to subscribe to potentially more lucrative services of mobile and fixed voice and digital TV.

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