Cable Tech

Cable Broadband Prices Steady

Despite strong competition from DSL, cable operators are managing to keep their prices stable, according to the latest benchmarking report from Point Topic Ltd.

Over the nine-month period from spring 2003, Point Topic analyzed the monthly rental and installation tariffs of 16 operators in 13 countries and found prices fell just 0.69 percent on average. Only Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) in the U.S. and TDC Kabel TV in Denmark increased their charges.

The report uses Purchasing Power Parity from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to compare prices, converted to U.S. dollars. The cheapest service was $28.02 per month for a 1.5-Mbit/s service from Canadian provider Shaw Communications Inc., followed by several European operators. Although services in the U.S. and Japan appear more expensive, they offer much higher speeds than their European counterparts.

For example, $33.87 buys 150 kbit/s from NTL Inc. (Nasdaq Europe: NTLI) in the U.K., and $38.25 gets 250 kbit/s from Sweden's Com Hem AB; but you get a 3-Mbit/s service from Cox Communications Inc. (NYSE: COX) in the U.S. for $49.95. In Japan, J-COM Broadband charges $69.95 for an 8-Mbit/s service. UPC Telekabel in Austria offers the most expensive service, charging $59.60 for 600 kbit/s.

Point Topic research shows that, although they are continuing to fall, DSL prices remain slightly higher in comparison -- Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) charges $51.04 for DSL service, compared to Kabel Deutschland's $40.45 per month; KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) DSL costs $53.96, compared to Casema NV’s $41.21; and Canadians pay $35.11 for Bell Canada DSL.

— Nicole Willing, Light Reading

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