Fixed broadband tariffs – key trends in Q1 2017

Broadband tariff benchmarks for residential and business broadband services

Point Topic compared broadband tariffs across different technologies in Q1 2017, looking at price and speed variations in various parts of the world.

Global broadband tariffs and bandwidths

We have compared the average, entry level and median broadband tariffs and corresponding bandwidths for different broadband technologies across the world. All prices are quoted in US dollars at PPP (purchasing power parity) rates to allow easier comparison.

Residential broadband packages

In Q1 2017, the average monthly charge for residential broadband services was $105, up from $98 in Q4 2016. It has gone up for all three main broadband technologies – copper, cable and fibre. The average charge inflation can be explained by the fact that the operators charged higher prices for higher broadband speeds – the average bandwidth provided to residential subscribers continued to climb and was 124Mbps, compared to 118Mbps in Q4 2016. The increase in the average bandwidth was caused by the boost in the average speeds provided over all three technology platforms.

This trend will continue, with a number of broadband providers accelerating the rollout of FTTH and Docsis 3.1 networks capable of Gigabit speeds, as well as copper based g.Fast platforms.  (For more details on the next generation network upgrades see operator profiles which are part of our Broadband Operators and Tariffs service).

Broadband tariffs and speeds

This quarter, the average cost per Mbps has declined on copper based broadband packages as the speed boost on copper tariffs has more than compensated for the increase in monthly charge. At the same time, the average cost per Mbps went up slightly on cable and fibre connections. The average ‘global’ cost per Mbps (for all three technologies combined) was $0.85 at the end of Q1 2017, compared to $0.83 recorded at the end of Q4 2016.

Business broadband packages

In Q1 2017, the average monthly charge for standalone business broadband services remained at $201 as in the previous quarter, despite a 6% boost to the average bandwidth compared to Q4 2016.  This increase in bandwidth was caused by significant growth in the average download speeds in particular on cable and to some extent on fibre based business packages. In the case of cable, in Q1 2017 the average bandwidth has gone up 12% compared to Q4 2016 (+11% between Q4 2016 and Q3 2016). For fibre connections, over the same period the average download speed has increased by 4% (+16% between Q4 2016 and Q3 2016).

In terms of average monthly cost, it has increased slightly for all three technologies in Q4 2016. The average monthly tariff of copper services continued to increase slowly despite this legacy technology seeing falling take-up figures. (See our Global Broadband Statistics product for more details).

Broadband tariffs and speeds

At the end of Q1 2017, the average global cost per Mbps for business broadband packages dropped by 6% and stood at $2.01. The decline in average cost per Mbps of bandwidth provided over all three technologies has contributed to this overall drop.

Regional broadband tariffs and bandwidths

In this section, we have compared the average subscription charges and corresponding bandwidths in different regions across the world. All prices are quoted in international US dollars at PPP rates to allow direct comparison between regions.

Residential broadband packages

Asia-Pacific retained its dominant position in terms of bandwidth as the operators in the region continue to push FTTP services. In Q1 2017, the average bandwidth in this region was 405Mbps. Western Europe followed as it pushed VDSL and, since recently, The region saw its average bandwidth grow from 161Mbps in Q4 2016 to 164Mbps in Q1 2017, and it offered the best value for money in terms of average monthly broadband tariff, having overtaken Asia-Pacific this quarter.

In Q1 2017, North America saw its average bandwidth go up further by 8% compared to the previous quarter as Canadian and US operators upgraded their speeds and expanded FTTP and superfast cable networks. South and East Asia also saw the average download speeds increase by 10% q-o-q. Countries of Middle East and Africa continued to be the most expensive broadband markets, not least due to the lack of competition in the fixed broadband markets and fixed broadband being strongly overshadowed by mobile.

Broadband tariffs benchmarks

Business broadband packages

As in the previous quarters, the lowest priced business tariffs were offered in Europe and the Americas. Although being the most expensive market, Asia-Pacific offered the highest average speeds at 427Mbps and the lowest average cost per Mbps of bandwidth at $0.93 PPP.

Broadband tariffs benchmarks

Get access to the full data

Access to the full version of the this report and our latest tariff database featuring more than 5,000 services from over 90 countries are 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

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