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Usage-Based Pricing and Demand for Residential Broadband

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  • Aviv Nevo
  • John L. Turner
  • Jonathan W. Williams

Abstract

We estimate demand for residential broadband using high-frequency data from subscribers facing a three-part tariff. The three-part tariff makes data usage during the billing cycle a dynamic problem; thus, generating variation in the (shadow) price of usage. We provide evidence that subscribers respond to this variation, and use their dynamic decisions to estimate a flexible distribution of willingness to pay for different plan characteristics. Using the estimates, we simulate demand under alternative pricing and find that usage-based pricing eliminates low-value traffic. Furthermore, we show that the costs associated with investment in fiber-optic networks are likely recoverable in some markets, but that there is a large gap between social and private incentives to invest.

Suggested Citation

  • Aviv Nevo & John L. Turner & Jonathan W. Williams, 2015. "Usage-Based Pricing and Demand for Residential Broadband," NBER Working Papers 21321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21321
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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