[LINK] Broadband Around the World

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Fri May 22 09:56:55 AEST 2009

Jan Whitaker wrote:
> At 07:48 AM 22/05/2009, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>> June 2008 subs - 3,269,000
>> Income to June 2008 - $1.805 billion
>> Approx ARPU - $A46 per month
>> In USD - $34.50 per month
>> So: the ARPU for the largest ISP in the country is more than US $20 below the
>> "average" subscription price.
> Do we know if OECD is using median instead of the mathematical 
> average that you just calculated?

The OECD doesn't calculate "prices paid for service" at all. It uses the
*advertised price* as the basis for the data; I don't know whether this is
averaged or median.

That isn't my criticism. My criticism is that the raw data - "off the plan"
prices - is not a guide to what users actually pay, since it treats the $120 per
month plan with equal weight to the $29.95 plan.

Your lower calculation may be
> because of the numbers of people who buy at the entry point for 
> faster speed, but don't do much so don't spend what used to be a 
> premium for overquota data. [I think Bigpond switched to throttling 
> instead of extra charging at outrageous $/Mb prices.]

My example is not, of course, complete, since it only includes Telstra. But what
I was illustrating is that ARPU - the average *revenue* per user - tells us
about user behaviour, and the *real* cost of service.

To take an example: if you wanted to get the average cost of new cars in
Australia, merely averaging the drive-away price means you include Rolls-Royce
as well as the Hyundai Excel, but you don't account for their importance in
sales; whereas if you worked from the actual sales figures, you get a valid measure.

An average of advertised prices is certainly no basis for stating that Australia
has more expensive Internet access!


> Jan
> Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
> jwhit at janwhitaker.com
> blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
> business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
> Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
> sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
> ~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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