Hong Kong and Fiber Give Most Bang for Broadband Buck

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People living in Hong Kong pay as little as US$0.028 per megabit for fixed broadband, the lowest price in the world during the third quarter, market research company Point Topic said on Monday.

The top 10 list is dominated by countries in Europe and Asia, thanks in part to the fact that they have spent a lot of resources on their broadband infrastructures, said Fiona Vanier, senior analyst at Point Topic, which is based in London.

Hong Kong is followed by Japan, Romania, Sweden, Latvia, China, Singapore, Russia, Germany and Finland. In these countries the lowest cost per megabit goes from $0.048 to $0.443, according to Point Topic.

The pricing in the U.K. and U.S. come in at 24th and 30th, respectively, out of 71 countries analyzed by Point Topic. Subscribers there pay $0.91 and $1.32 per megabit, respectively.

The high cost per megabit in the U.S. comes down to a combination of the size of the country, a spread-out population and a lack of competition, according to Vanier.

Fiber dominates the top 10 list, because higher speeds usually result in lower cost per megabit, according to Point Topic. But there is a caveat: the bandwidth has to be used for those savings to be achieved, Point Topic said.

Broadband prices are stabilizing in many markets around the world, and the average price per megabit actually went up globally. But there is also room for big price cuts. In eight countries, including India, Italy and Saudi Arabia, the lowest price per megabit dropped by more than 50 percent between the second and the third quarter.

Point Topic's numbers are based on fixed broadband subscriptions that are generally available to the public.

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