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Broadband Price Charter

Phil Harvey
3/13/2006

12:30 PM -- Time for a little broadband kiss and tell.

Charter Communications Inc. just gave me a break on my Internet bill because I agreed not to switch service providers for a 12-month service term.

Under this current deal, I'm agreeing to pay $32.46 a month (after tax) for a 3-Mbit/s service. The price goes up significantly after 12 months. They're happy to have me as a customer. But, after a year, let's just be friends.

When I look back over my Charter bills during the past several years, though, things get a bit weird.

Table 1: Phil's Broadband Bills: A Retrospective

Date Downstream Upstream Price Per Month (After Tax)
Sep-03 1.5 Mbit/s 128 Kbit/s $62.91
Mar-04 2 Mbit/s 128 Kbit/s $41.23
Jul-04 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $41.23
Jan-05 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $52.05
Mar-06 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $32.46
Mar-07 3 Mbit/s 256 Kbit/s $56.30
Note: March 2007 per-month price is as quoted by Charter, should I remain a customer after 12-months.


All over the world, the price per megabit for broadband is on the decline. But in my 'hood, the price goes down, then up, then down, then way up.

Here's something to think about: The great Mark Cuban suggests that most U.S. families, eventually, will require a 100-Mbit/s connection to the home.

Based on Charter's pricing plan for my account in 2007, a 100-Mbit/s connection to my home would cost a shocking $62 a day.

I told my wife about this back-of-the-envelope extrapolation and she, not realizing that I was talking theoretically, fainted and flew backwards into a wall at 5 MPH (she was on the treadmill at the time).

While I stand over her with smelling salts, let me pose a question to the readership: What's the best-ever broadband deal that you've received?

— Phil Harvey, Broadband For-a-Year Editor, Light Reading

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DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 4:02:02 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
re: "It seems your up and down are backwards.

Also, the cheapest broadband (capped downloads, though) I know of is 256 kbps in parts of India for 2$/month. [incumbent BSNL, in Chennia, as part of a package with a landline]"

Ha! Thanks. I fixed the chart. Sorry for the mistake.

So you can get 256 Kbit/s for $2 a month service in India? That's amazing. Is that a DSL service? And what's the cap? Just wondering what the economics are for it.
rtfm
rtfm
12/5/2012 | 4:02:02 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
Phil,

It seems your up and down are backwards.

Also, the cheapest broadband (capped downloads, though) I know of is 256 kbps in parts of India for 2$/month. [incumbent BSNL, in Chennia, as part of a package with a landline]

rtfm
sigint
sigint
12/5/2012 | 4:02:00 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
rtfm:
So you can get 256 Kbit/s for $2 a month service in India? That's amazing. Is that a DSL service? And what's the cap? Just wondering what the economics are for it.
___________________________________________________

In Bangalore, I pay about Rs. 500 ($11, approx) for 256kbits/s. I couldn't figure out how much of this was upstream, and the asymmetry isn't disclosed, neither is the extent of oversubscription at the aggregation point. The techs who install this stuff are never able to answer these question.

Beyond 2GBytes of download in a month, one has to pay something like 1 cent per additional MB.

Most residential plans are set up that way. Business plans, with no download caps and fixed IP are an order of magnitude more expensive, though much cheaper than leased lines.

But yes, these are touted as the cheapest broadband access rates in the world. And, BTW, these guys do make money off the service!
DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 4:01:58 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
Thanks for the note sigint. Amazing stuff. I wonder how they make money on that. I mean, it can't all be on volume, right?

ph
DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 4:01:57 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
True. True. The "it's not my money" thing probably does skew the numbers in some neighborhoods.

ph
vrparente
vrparente
12/5/2012 | 4:01:57 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
For many people broadband data access at home is subsidized by employers when they telecommute, require after hours access, or otherwise neogtiate a good employment deal. For those who are re-imbursed for this expense the cost is not real -- and the pressure to shop around for a the best deal, deal of the month, etc. is not there. The best economic analogy would be health-care.

Best deal -- neighbor's WiFi -- free!
telco1158
telco1158
12/5/2012 | 4:01:54 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
ISP Bredband.com has 2mbps for $29 US, 100mbps for $41 us. Don't bother going to their homepage, it's all in Svenska.
zher
zher
12/5/2012 | 4:01:53 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
I will switch to the new access techs like FTTx, xDSL2(+) whenever I get a chance, cheaper, faster, newer plant...

DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 4:01:50 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
I'm right there with you. Wish I had the option to do that now.

ph
DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 4:01:50 AM
re: Broadband Price Charter
re: "100mbps for $41 us"

That's per month? Interesting. Do they do voice and video, too, or just data?

ph
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