Price still main barrier to broadband adoption

eGov Innovation Editors
08 Nov 2011

Five million more households could afford broadband connections worldwide if the price is cut by just 1%, according to a new study made by analyst firm Point Topic.

The study showed that the biggest barrier to broadband adoption worldwide is still affordability.

“The next wave of broadband, commonly titled ‘superfast’, is gathering steam,” said Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson. “With more than half a billion fixed lines already in use and many markets extending the reach of fixed broadband across their populations, the specter of a deepening digital divide rears its head. On a global basis, if suppliers can shave 1percent off the cost of a broadband service then that brings it into the economic reach of at least another 5 million households.”

Point Topic said the industry is now working to bring services into the reach of the digitally deprived. Economies of scale are important for GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network) deployment, particularly in commercial consumer rollout and standards can help make the savings more attractive.

“Standards are one component of bringing down the price of a broadband service. Competition, information and technological advances all make a difference. Mostly however it’s about how much of any saving a supplier can pass on to its customers and to be able to reduce costs at a stroke of a standards pen should bring some immediate relief for the digital divide,” said Johnson.

Even in mature and relatively rich broadband markets there are significant shortfalls in take-up due to the cost of a subscription and the kit that goes with it, he added.

However, with plenty of solutions to deliver superfast broadband making their way to market, it is more and more important that suppliers are able to align their networks and implement delivery solutions that are cost effective.

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