How Many Consumers Pay "Retail" for Internet Access?

It always is complicated to determine the actual cost of fixed or mobile network internet access prices. 

Absolute retail prices are one thing. Which products consumers typically buy is another matter. In other words, retail prices only matter if most people pay full retail. 

 And the whole point of bundles--multi-user or family plans, triple play or quadruple play--as well as promotional prices, is to give consumers discounts over the posted single-product rates. 

 What really matters, when assessing “typical cost,” is to look at the plans most people buy, not simply tariffs. 

It simply does not matter what the “most costly plans” happen to be, if few consumers buy them. Likewise, it does not matter what the “single product” price is if most consumers buy a bundle with effectively-lower real prices. 

 Access providers and consumers like triple play packages for different reasons. For access providers, such packages reduce churn, increase value and boost average revenue per account. 

 That is not to minimize potential or actual increases in retail prices. But what really matters is how consumers are able to pay less than “full retail” when buying internet access and what the realistic alternatives are. 

Consumers like the price savings. So it is good advice, when confronted by price hikes for any single consumer access product, to consider alternatives. That might mean buying from a different supplier, buying a different package or substituting one product for another. 

 If, as some predict, internet access single product pricing does increase, that search for alternatives will increase. 

There are other nuances. Per capita prices hinge on the typical number of persons per household, in various countries or areas. That was more an issue a decade ago, when internet access adoption was not as robust as today. 

The point is that even if some internet service suppliers try to raise prices, the higher price umbrella will increase incentives for rivals to attack.

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