Analysis of Q2 2022 Global Broadband Tariffs, Project Gigabit updates, ISP news and government updates
Point Topic’s key publication of the month: Global Broadband Tariff Benchmark Report, Q2 2022
Proliferation of global fibre networks sees residential consumers reaping speed and cost rewards, while B2B subscribers see little improvement in bandwidth versus monthly charges.
Summary of key findings
In the twelve months to the close of Q2 2022:
Global residential fixed line broadband monthly charges decreased by 4% copper, cable and fibre.
The average bandwidth increased by 22% year-on-year (y-o-y), due to the increased innovation and proliferation of fibre based networks globally.
Business subscribers continued to struggle with rising monthly charges, with costs increasing by 12% y-o-y and lower average download speeds (426 Mbps) compared to residential averages of 464 Mbps.
Main trends in Q2 2022
Year-on-year charges for residential fibre based products decreased by 5%, downstream averages increased by 17% to reach 549 Mbps; cable based products prices reduced by 4% reduction in prices with speeds rising to 433 Mbps; copper based tariff charges remained static but saw a decrease in speeds from 13 to 11 Mbps.
Gigabit-capable tariffs continue to rise with 456 residential gigabit tariffs available in Q2, compared to 397 in Q4 2021 and 367 in Q2 2021.
Fibre enabled business products monthly charges remained static at $241 PPP y-o-y, average speeds rose by 17% to reach 515 Mbps; cable service charges decreased by 14% but increased bandwidth has slowed to reach an average of 377 Mbps; copper prices have dropped but so have the average downlink speeds with an average cost per Mbps coming in at $13.00 PPP.
Asia-Pacific region retained its dominant bandwidth position with average speeds of 1,355 Mbps, up from 1,146 Mbps in Q4 2021 and 1,135 Mbps y-o-y, followed by North America, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia with the three regions reaching a combined average of around 465 Mbps.
Qatar, Switzerland and Southeast Asian countries still remain at the top of the league by average bandwidth along Italy, France and Bulgaria; these countries all rank in the top ten cheapest for residential broadband in terms of average cost per Mbps being less than $0.10 PPP.
Tables 1 and 2 below provide further information about average regional residential and business tariffs by cable, copper, and fibre technologies with average cost per month in PPP.
BDUK Project Gigabit Updates
On 1 September BDUK awarded local AltNet provider, Wessex Internet, a £6m contract to cover 7,100 premises in the North Dorset area. The contract falls under Project Gigabit’s Dorset Lot 14 procurement area which aims to cover 56,500 premises and which will have deployment projects starting between July and September 2023. Worth noting is that later in the month (27 September), Wessex Internet announced that they had received an undisclosed sum of major equity investment from abrdn’s Core Infrastructure which will support the supplier’s long-term aim of passing 150k premises in the south west region by 2027.
BDUK announced on 29 September that it had awarded local supplier, GoFibre, the Lot 4.01 Teesdale contract. The £6.6m project will cover around 4k in the area and forms part of the larger Lot 4 intervention area covering Durham, South Tyneside and the Tees Valley areas extending into Northumberland. Services are expected to go live in the Teesdale area in 2023.
Telecommunications Security Code of Practice
On 5 September the government published its Draft Policy Paper: Telecommunications Security Code of Practice. The law, which came into effect on 1 October 2022, has positive implications for the end-users, however it does place a considerable amount of interventionist power onto the Government and Ofcom as they can potentially interfere with network design and operations along with supply chain management to ensure that ISPs are adhering to the security regulations. Operators could potentially be served with fines of up to 10% or £100k per day for failing to meet the requirements.
Government response to New build developments consultation: delivering gigabit-capable connections
On 22 September, the government issued its consultation outcome statement on last year’s technical consultation. Despite the new legal frameworks being introduced in the statement when reading the fine print the reforms may not go far enough for some, especially those looking at new build homes in rural areas. The rules coming into effect for developers – at this point those only in England as new regulations are looking to be introduced in the devolved nations in the future – state the following:
All new build homes are installed with the gigabit-ready physical infrastructure necessary for gigabit-capable connections.
A gigabit-capable connection is installed in a new build home subject to a £2,000 cost cap per dwelling, or
Where a gigabit-capable connection is not being installed, the next fastest broadband connection is installed without exceeding the £2,000 cost cap.
However, the rub comes when reviewing the last point as where gigabit-capable technically either through full fibre, coaxial cable, or wireless technically cannot be installed without exceeding the cost cap, the next best technically can be introduced ensuring minimum downlink speeds of 30 Mbps. Where this isn’t possible, then technology meeting the Universal Service Obligation (USO) speeds of 10 Mbps can be introduced.
Other key telecoms sector news items from the month can be found below.
BT Group News
Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) News
CityFibre (CF) News
Independent Operators (AltNets) News
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