Report: US could save $30bn a year from satellite broadband
August 29, 2019
By Chris Forrester
A report from Podium, written by Tyler Cooper from BroadbandNow, suggests that US broadband users could save hundreds of dollars a year, thanks to increased competition from satellite mega-constellations, even if they do not subscribe to the new services.
Cooper’s argument is sound. He suggests that in regions of the US where there is a single wired broadband supplier they will pay a typical $68 (€61.4) a month for their service. If there are two such suppliers competing for business, then the average price falls to $59 a month – and the beginnings of a useful saving.
But when there are five or more choices – usually in urban and suburban areas – the average price crashes to just $47, and a massive saving for consumers over their more isolated neighbours.
Cooper has analysed more than 2000 ISPs in order to come up with the lowest-available monthly price to users.
He suggests that the mega-constellation plans from Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos as well as existing services from the likes of ViaSat, and planned broadband services from OneWeb and Canada-based Telesat, could mean that multiple providers would translate into meaningful cost-savings for users.
Cooper calculates that the addition of a competitive satellite-based broadband supplier could be worth collective savings of some $30 billion annually. Much the same argument applies to other parts of the planet. Of course, add in 5G deployment and this would also add the potential ‘extra competition’ needed for tangible savings compared with today’s typical prices.