Business broadband tariff benchmarks – Q4 2012

Global and regional benchmarks for business broadband services

This free report provides global and regional benchmarks for business broadband tariffs and the average downstream bandwidth offered by copper, cable and fibre services at the end of 2012.

Every quarter, Point Topic looks at trends in the global and regional monthly costs of copper (DSL), cable and fibre broadband services.

The analysis is based on our global database of standalone and bundled broadband tariffs. In Q4 2012, the database included 2,810 residential tariffs from across the globe and 2,016 business tariffs.

In this report, we look at the global and regional trends for business broadband tariffs. All prices are quoted in international US dollars at PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) rates to allow comparisons between countries.

The global picture

In Q4 2012, the average monthly charge for business broadband services was $260.45. The average bandwidth provided by business services was 23.5Mbps. This means that the average global cost per megabit was just over $11 at the end of 2012.

Point Topic - Average cost per megabit for business broadband services - global, copper, fibre, cable - Q4 2012

In Q4 2012, fibre services for businesses cost twice as much as copper services and four times as much as cable services. The downstream bandwidth offered by cable and fibre services was comparable and four times faster than copper or DSL services.

This means that overall, the cost per megabit for business cable broadband services is much cheaper than fibre or copper. This is a different story to the residential market, where fibre and cable are quite equally matched in terms of average cost per megabit, and all services offer a cheaper cost per megabit.

If as a business, where overall bandwidth needs are typically higher than in residential scenarios, you don’t have access to fibre or cable services then you usually have to pay 30% more for a copper subscription than residential consumers. This reflects the higher usage and average bandwidths that businesses need as well as the increased customer service costs generally associated.

In part the high cost for fibre is due to the introduction of new gigbit fibre tariffs. With more expensive high-speed services now available, the overall price trend inevitably shifts upward although ‘cheaper’ fibre services are still offered. We expect to see this come down slightly as the premium element wears off in the next few quarters.

Regional trends

Within this section, we look at the average monthly charge and the average downstream bandwidth offered by business broadband services across the world in Q4 2012.

Point Topic - business tariff benchmarks Q4 2012


The lowest priced business tariffs are offered in Europe and the Americas, although services in Europe and North America are typically faster. Asia-Pacific offers the fastest broadband services to businesses, but at a higher cost than in Europe and the Americas.

South and East Asia sells by far the most expensive broadband services to businesses. This is due to a dominance of fibre based services offered to businesses in China and India.

Regional technology trends

Here, we show trends in the average tariffs offered by region for copper, cable and fibre business broadband services. We have indicated where low sample sizes mean that the data should be treated with caution.

Point Topic - Average cost per megabit for business broadband services - by region, by technology - Q4 2012

It is much more difficult to get pricing information for business services since they usually want you to call in to get a quote. Therefore we must alert users to the cases where the sample sizes are small.

In Latin America, cable is not widely deployed and the prices quoted are from one supplier in Mexico. Fibre is a bit more widely spread, but again the value returned is from a single supplier.

The dedicated fibre lines in China are expensive, which has raised the average cost per megabit for their business fibre services. China specialises in FTTB/MDU which is then portioned out amongst tenants. Prices for a dedicated fibre line are then much more expensive.

Find out more

The full version of this report is available to subscribers of Point Topic’s Broadband Operators & Tariffs service. To find out more, please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail