Broadband consumers can pay up to 45% more than the rate cable and telecom operators advertise for their services, according to research released today by GlobalData.
The rates prospective subscribers see flashed on TV commercials, websites and print ads generally do not include the cost of necessary equipment -- such as a router or set-top box, as well as mandatory service or technology fees.
Rather than cost transparency, an attractively-priced bundle can see its monthly fee increase dramatically, said Courtney Rudd, senior consumer services analyst at GlobalData, in a statement. "For example, Xfinity's $40 'Starter Internet plus Basic' TV bundle jumps to $58 per month once the additional $18 in equipment costs are added. Prices can also vary based on location."
In August 2019, Verizon had the highest add-on costs at $24 per month; Frontier and Altice USA's Optimum followed, with about $17 to $18 in extra equipment fees, the researcher found. However, both AT&T and Google Fiber were more transparent to subscribers: They did not tack on additional equipment or technology fees to the advertised bundle price, GlobalData said. Hidden fees can include early termination fees, set-up and activation fees as well as unexpected contract lengths, wrote BroadbandNow, which tracks operators' prices from around the US.
"The lack of pricing transparency in the US market is an ongoing inconvenience for customers and an open invitation for disruptor aggression," Rudd said.
These findings support an April study that found 48% of Americans have access to wired broadband at $60 per month or less. In its "The State of Broadband in America, Q2 2019" report, BroadbandNow determined less than 5% of consumers in states such as Colorado, Vermont and New Hampshire could connect at 25 Mbit/s or faster for $60 per month, unless it was a promotional rate.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.