Wireless data has been getting cheaper every year, but the recent lapse of FCC’s spectrum auction authority may slow this price drop in the long term. Applications and streaming services are using more data than ever, and consumers continue to switch to faster wireless services like 5G. This increases demand for a limited part of the wireless spectrum. Without making more wireless spectrum available for private use, demand for data will eventually put an upward pressure on data prices, costing consumers more for wireless services.

The price of data has fallen dramatically over time. In 2018 one gigabyte of data cost $4.64. As of 2023, that number has fallen by nearly 41 percent to only $2.75. As the price of data continues to fall consumers are likely to use even more. Meanwhile, data requirements for higher-quality services will continue to grow as well, requiring the U.S. wireless system to carry an ever-increasing amount of data for the foreseeable future.

To read the full article on the Economic Standard, please visit it here.

Justin Leventhal is a senior policy analyst for the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org or follow ACI on Twitter @ConsumerPal.