Why is broadband more expensive in the US?

Home broadband in the US costs far more than elsewhere. At high speeds, it costs nearly three times as much as in the UK and France, and more than five times as much as in South Korea. Why?

Men’s haircuts, loaves of bread… it is surprising how much more expensive some things are in the US than the UK. Now home broadband can be added to that list.

The price of basic broadband, TV and phone packages - or bundles as they are known - is much higher in American cities than elsewhere, suggests the New America Foundation think tank, which compared hundreds of available packages worldwide.

Looking at some of the cheaper ones available in certain cities, at lower to mid download speeds, San Francisco ($99/£61), New York ($70) and Washington DC ($68) dwarf London ($38), Paris ($35) and Seoul ($15).


How much do you pay? As for me, £50 ($80) a month in London for superfast broadband with unlimited downloads, Cable TV (including movies and sports) and a landline line rental.

broadband from the cable companies are mostly tiered speeds now. you can get a cheap basic package with 10Mpbs for $25 or so I think. It can range up to 50Mpbs for $70+

Telecom in general is operated like a cartel in the US. Here, we have multi year contract, phones tied to carriers, single service providers in certain locations, and all sorts of other industry controlled rules. In South Korea, I bet you can walk up to one of those open market kiosks and buy instant activation SIM cards from ten different carriers.

On the other hand, we in the US can buy other things cheaper than people in other countries: cars, gas, pork, milk - and we can easily get low rate 30 year mortgages. I guess this stuff is both good and bad…

$180 for full cable (HBO, ect), 50 mpbs, and a landline

Northeast USA, Comast

^ both of this is true. Where I live, I think we have only 2 broadband providers. AT&T and Comcast control pretty much everything here. I pay $45 a month and that is just fast broadband. I don’t know what speed it actually is, but its fast enough to download/watch anything without buffering so it works for me.

^ I have only intenet and it costs $75 lol wtf

There are rumblings for the gov to treat internet access as a public utility (like electric and water). If that happens there will be countless local providers… service and speed will go up, and cost will go down.

Obviously the big telecom companies will do anything for this NOT to happen, and unfortunately for the consumer, have the capital to “influence” these views.

I’m sort of mystified why I pay so much for cable internet. All I buy is the internet and it’s like $70-75 unless I harass them to lower my rate, which they sometimes do for a few months. They try to use it as a selling point (I call this douchebag MBA pricing). Pay $10 extra and you’ll get tv also, but I don’t want tv (or $20 and you get phone too). I suspect the numbers the OP quoted are high because of this. They probably report the cost before the discount so that the effective price is lower.

Yeah, I’m with Comcast and the sticker price of my internet is $65/mo. As part of the new customer promotion I only paid $30 for the first 6 months and now I’m paying $45, and it’s supposed to step up to $65 at the 1 year mark. Trying to figure out the best deals for cable/internet is frusturating. I have no desire to pay for cable since I don’t really need it. I have netflix and Amazon Prime so I can watch most of what I want there or online.

Now that summer is over, I will pay more for my high speed internet than I will for my power bill for the next couple months. Seems odd…

In addition to what’s already been mentioned, America is challenged by an aging infrastructure, and non-Americas forget how big of a place the US is. It costs a lot of money to build cable lines everywhere.

Cell phones are also more expensive here because the big broadband companies are trying to recoup the billions they spent a bajillion years ago to build out the landline infrastructure. *eye roll*

I do like the latest trend in prepaid phone providers. Finally bringing down the oligopoly one customer at a time. I can’t wait for my contract to expire so I can move over. Another 11 months to go!

That’s true. It probably costs a lot of money to ensure that your Verizon data plan works all over this big ass country, as opposed to a comparatively tiny place like the UK or Germany.

Of course, this large scale also increases barriers to entry and makes the US telecommunications industry less competitive in general. To be competitive, any new wireless carrier will need to launch as a “national plan”. If you travel from San Francisco to New York, you will still want to use your cell phone. It is very difficult to provide this kind of coverage as a new company.

You’re all making a case for long T. I like their cash flow…issue is debt…

Indeed, the cell phone competition is crazy in Europe. Many large providers appeared in the 90s from different countries, e.g. T-mobile from Germany, Vodafone from the UK or Orange from France. Now all of them are present in almost every country. An all inclusive package may cost as little as 20 EUR, smartphone included for “free”.

This, especially considering the poor accuracy of common maps, which make areas near the poles (Europe, Russia, Canada) appear much larger than they are in reality. Europe is actually quite small, as you can see in the area projected map below.


Also, internet in Italy never works.

I hear there’s a lot of pr0n in Italy

Pron is an international commodity. As long as there is no “dialogue”, it is not easy to tell which country the production is from. Japan is the exception though.

Internet is actually more expensive in Canada. As for phone carriers, they live off contracts. They’ll give you the phone for free to handcuff you for 2-3 years at a ludicrous monthly fee. That’s the only way to grab the teenage market as they cannot afford an upfront phone cost.

Long live municipal wireless networks .

German pron is quite easily identified as well. It must be a WW2 thing as both the japanese and germans produce some of the filthiest material imaginable.

As for Internet, canada is pretty expensive too. Most of the plans have low usage limits even at the top tier speeds. To get unlimited Internet you have to sign up for their bundle and “save” then pay another fee for the unlimited. These bundles will end up costing you well over $200/month. I pay $55/month with a small provider that gives me good speeds and unlimited usage. I pay another $85/month for my iphone plan with bell (includes unlimited calls within Canada, local and long distance) No landline, no cable/satelite. I download all the shows I want and stream sports through various sites.