The Guest Blog

Caroline van Weede, Managing Director at Cable Europe.

If you’re reading this you’re probably connected in some way to our industry, be it as an operator, a policy maker, an academic, an engaged generalist…..whatever your reason for being here you’re probably not wearing your consumer hat at this moment.

But of course that’s what you are – a consumer. With household bills, holiday aspirations, pension plans to make. Negotiating like the rest of us the financial juggle that is daily life.

As our homes and families become ever more connected, I wonder what your best guess would be as to what the average annual spend on telecommunications is? The answer might surprise you. Arthur D. Little’s latest data shows that overall spending on telecommunications is a fraction of consumer spend. Compare the 2.1% yearly average on telecoms with the 8.2% on restaurants and hotels or the 8.6% on culture. This is a trend heading in the right direction for European consumers: the ADL data also shows that over the period of 2011 to 2015, broadband retail prices decreased by 29% in markets where cable has a strong presence.

Not only broadband prices but also the prices of telecoms and TV services in general have decreased over the same period of time. A comparison with the evolution of the European consumer price index shows that the price decrease of this category of services really stands out. The decrease is actually 18 percent below of the rate of inflation. Clearly, great technology, compelling services and healthy competition make a win-win for consumers.

And the story does not end there. The telecoms and video markets are so extremely dynamic, it’s hard to keep pace with the innovation. Better service quality, higher broadband speeds, new ways of communicating, a digital dialogue between objects and machines, efficient search engines and recommendation tools on TV platforms: the list is long.

Cable will play a role in delivering the best outcome for the European consumer. Cable’s fibre powered networks already pass half of European homes and can be upgraded to Very High Capacity networks well in advance of the Europe Commission’s 2025 target. The investments are in the pipeline, the consumers will win.

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