[LINK] Broadband Around the World

Sylvano sylvano at gnomon.com.au
Fri May 22 10:42:13 AEST 2009

On Fri, May 22, 2009 7:48 am, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> Subscription price averages are a meaningless measure that fail to take
> into
> account the distribution of users across different plans.
> To demonstrate this, get some real numbers. Eg, from the Telstra annual
> report:
> 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.
> We constantly encourage politicians to seek "OECD position" in broadband
> policy,
> which is just nonsense. Moreover, since it's so easy to play "spot the
> bollocks"
> in the broadband data, why would I give any better credence to the OECD's
> education, health, taxation, or any other of its pronouncements?

It's always reasonable to question statistical claims.

But let us not assume that it's always straight forward to do so and let
us not throw out the baby with the bath water.  That is to say, we need to
understand how the information is being assembled and its intended

The cost for ADSL is quoted at $69.95.  If I go to the Telstra website I
see the following plan offers:

Fast 256/64kbps
$29.95	200MB
$59.95	BigPond Liberty ® 12GB

Faster 1500/256kbps
$39.95	400MB
$69.95	BigPond Liberty 12GB
$79.95	BigPond Liberty 25GB

Fastest High Speed ADSL2+ ADSL
$59.95	600MB
$89.95	BigPond Liberty 12GB
$99.95	BigPond Liberty 25GB
$149.95	60GB

>From what I can see, I can only pay less than $69.95 if I choose to
download youtube through a straw, or forget youtube altogether and use my
connection to occasionally check emails.

Some points to description to methodology and usual disclaimers at the
OECD website:


All data are supplied by member governments unless otherwise noted. Data
are provided to member governments for verification before publication.

All statistical country comparisons should be undertaken with caution and
this advice similarly applies to broadband statistics. There is a breadth
of market, regulatory and geographic factors which help determine
penetration rates, prices, and speeds. Therefore, it is important that
policy makers examine a wide range of broadband indicators when
considering key policy decisions.


3. Prices

a. Removal of voice subscription charges: Prices do not include PSTN line
rental charges when they can be separated out, even though subscribers may
be required to have a PSTN line to subscribe to DSL. This can also apply
to cable and fibre-based services. Some offers do include phone and
television service (triple-play) which cannot be disaggregated.
b. Modem rental: Prices do not include modem rental (when priced separately)
c. Term commitments: Prices do not include discounts for some longer-term
commitments. In some countries, operators offer significant discounts to
subscribers who commit for long periods. These longer-term subscribers can
often comprise a large majority of all broadband subscribers in a country
(e.g. Korea's 95% of subscribers are on discounted longer-term plans).
Only commitments of 12 months or less are included.
d. Free calling: Some plans offer a number of included phone calls as part
of the broadband plan. If simple Internet access prices cannot be
disaggregated then the calls are included in the price.
e. Preselection requirements: Prices do not include discounts for also
choosing certain calling plans or preselection.
f. If plan requires a certain amount of phone use (charges) per month then
these are added into the basic Internet access price [e.g. TelstraClear

There are more tables and details available at the OECD site:


Gnomon Publishing

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