Magazine article Newsweek

America Pays More Than Anyone Else for Internet; Why Do Communication Services Cost So Much More in the U.S.?

Magazine article Newsweek

America Pays More Than Anyone Else for Internet; Why Do Communication Services Cost So Much More in the U.S.?

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Bernasek

The amount an American family spends on phone, television and Internet services each year can easily come to several thousand dollars. If that sounds like a lot, it is. In other parts of the world, communication services are much cheaper. A British family, for example, could spend roughly one-third of what an American family does for comparable communications services.

Ofcom, the regulator of communications in the U.K., has compared the cost of services provided to the British with other major nations. The findings were clear. In one example, the regulator looked at a connected household in six countries: the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain. These households consisted of two parents and two teenage children, each with his or her own mobile device but with different usage patterns. Adults typically use more voice and teens more text messages and data. In addition, these households use landlines, home Internet connections and a pay-TV service.

The study found that France offered the cheapest total cost, $127.94 a month for the connected household. Services measured were a combination of fixed-line voice, fixed broadband, mobile voice, mobile messaging, mobile broadband and TV. The U.K. ranked second, with a monthly price tag of $132.92. The U.S. ranked last, with a monthly bill of $360. …

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