Journal Article

The Price of Broadband Quality: Tracking the Changing Valuation of Service Characteristics

June 20, 2017

Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol. 26, Issue 6, 2017, pp. 516-532

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This paper investigates how retail broadband prices, choice and quality are changing over time. Using a data set containing daily observations of plans offered in Ireland from 2007 to 2013, this paper applies hedonic modelling techniques to observe the changing pricing of service characteristics. Although we find that average nominal prices remain static throughout our sample period, quality of service has risen dramatically over time, particularly with respect to download speed. Some characteristics of broadband plans exhibit broadly stable valuations over time, but the elasticity of price with respect to advertised download speed and the premium on bundled services declined for most types of broadband plans during the sample period. In addition, the retail price premium enjoyed by the incumbent operator fell significantly since 2007.