The fight for broadband customers in the U.S. is becoming more intense than ever, Pike & Fischer concludes in its most recent annual analysis of broadband speeds and prices. The key weapon is transmission speeds – prices are holding steady, confirming the observation of other market researchers. The report covers nine cable operators and four RBOCs.
General findings in the report include:
* Upload and download speeds continue to rise; with the top speed of cable tiers now in the 8-10 Mbps range, up from the 4-6 Mbps range a year ago.
* The highest speeds are available in regions where Verizon is offering its new FiOS fiber-to-the-premise network and where cable operators are boosting both their download and upload speeds in response.
* Prices are generally holding steady, even as data rates increase.
* New services are beginning to emerge to utilize the higher speeds.
* Recent moves by Verizon and Comcast, for example, suggest an emerging competition to attract specific high-end customer segments such as online gamers.
The report also describes competitive developments among the various broadband segments. For example, while cable operators are aggressively rolling out voice-over-IP (VoIP) services, all four regional Bell companies are teaming up with satellite video providers.