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Transition from copper to fiber broadband: the role of connection speed and switching costs


  • Lukasz Grzybowski

    (Télécom ParisTech)

  • Maude Hasbi

    (Télécom ParisTech)

  • Julienne Liang

    (Orange Labs [Paris] - Telecom Orange)


We estimate a mixed logit model using data on choices of broadband technologies by 94,388 subscribers to a single broadband operator in a European country on a monthly basis from January to December 2014. We find that valuation of DSL connection speed in the range between 1 and 8 MB/s is very similar. Moreover, in January 2014, the valuation of FttH connection with speed of 100 MB/s is not much different than of DSL connection with speed of 1 or 8 MB/s but it increased over time. The small initial difference in valuation of DSL and FttH connections may be because basic Internet needs of consumers such as emailing, reading news, shopping, browsing and even watching videos online could be satisfied with connection speed below 8 MB/s. We also find that consumers face significant switching costs when changing broadband tariffs, which are substantially higher when switching from DSL to FttH technology. According to counterfactual simulations based on our model estimates, switching costs between technologies are the main factor which slows down transition from DSL to FttH.

Suggested Citation

  • Lukasz Grzybowski & Maude Hasbi & Julienne Liang, 2018. "Transition from copper to fiber broadband: the role of connection speed and switching costs," Post-Print hal-02102338, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02102338
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2017.07.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Vogelsang, Ingo, 2019. "Has Europe missed the endgame of telecommunications policy?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-10.
    2. Charalampopoulos, George & Katsianis, Dimitris & Varoutas, Dimitris, 2020. "Investigating the intertwining impact of wholesale access pricing and the commitment to net neutrality principle on European next-generation access networks private investment plans: An options-game a," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3).
    3. repec:zbw:itse23:277968 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fabian Queder, 2020. "Towards a vertically separated broadband infrastructure: The potential role of voluntary separation," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, , vol. 21(2), pages 143-165, June.
    5. Szabó, Andrea & Pham, Vinh, 2022. "Net neutrality and consumer demand in the video on-demand market," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    6. Liu, Yu-Hsin & Prince, Jeffrey & Wallsten, Scott, 2018. "Distinguishing bandwidth and latency in households’ willingness-to-pay for broadband internet speed," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-15.
    7. Sylvain Dejean & Sophie Tarascou, 2021. "A qui profite la fibre ? Estimation des besoins en très haut débit et déploiement de la fibre optique en France," Working Papers hal-03341938, HAL.
    8. Abrardi, Laura & Cambini, Carlo, 2019. "Ultra-fast broadband investment and adoption: A survey," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 183-198.
    9. Gerpott Torsten J., 2018. "Relative fixed Internet connection speed experiences as antecedents of customer satisfaction and loyalty: An empirical analysis of consumers in Germany," Management & Marketing, Sciendo, vol. 13(4), pages 1150-1173, December.

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    More about this item


    FttH; DSL; connection speed; switching costs; Mixed logit model; switching cost;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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