U.S. Mobile and Internet Access Prices Have Fallen for 2 Decades

Between 1997 and 2017, the cost of mobile service in the U.S. market dropped 50 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for internet services and electronic information providers were 22 percent lower in 2018 versus 2000.

Between 2000 and 2018, internet access services experienced an average inflation rate of -1.36 percent  per year. “In other words, internet services costing $50 in the year 2000 would cost $39.10 in 2018 for an equivalent purchase,” says the BLS.

The overall inflation rate was 2.07 percent during this same period, BLS says. Likewise, prices for mobile services also have fallen.

There often is a big difference between posted retail prices for internet access and the packages consumers actually buy. Available plans can be expensive or cheap, but what matters are the buying habits of actual customers, who may or may not pay those posted prices.  

These days, as so many U.S. consumers are on some sort of plan featuring a product bundle, there might not be very many customers actually paying the “stand-alone price” for internet access.

In fact, internet access prices actually have fallen over the last two decades, not increased.  


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