In the last decade, the price of fixed broadband internet has stayed roughly the same, reflecting improving service as well as rising prices—consider that according to the OECD, in 2014, Americans paid about $50 a month for 15 Mb/s speeds; in 2020, they pay about $60 for speeds of 25 Mb/s. (Also worth noting: Americans pay more than any other developed country for their broadband, versus an OECD average of about $37 a month.)

The cost of mobile data has fallen considerably, which also makes sense considering the differences between what you could do with a phone in 2010 and what you can do today. Most noticeably, cable and satellite TV costs have continued to rise—but the product hasn’t changed that much.

Economists suspect the differences come from the amount of competition in these markets. Mobile phone data plans are offered by multiple providers in dense areas, but reliance on expensive physical infrastructure for cable internet and most broadband means that, in 2018, 68 million Americans only had one option for those services. Many, like me, have to choose between just two; in my Oakland zip code, unfettered broadband means either Comcast or AT&T.

As more and more of the information we want converges on the internet, this is going to get more complicated. The FCC has ruled that cable TV providers can raise prices because internet TV services like Hulu count as competition. Meanwhile, it’s not clear that individuals actually need that much more quality from their internet service providers. One thing we have seen: Cable companies have invested more in infrastructure upgrades where they receive competition from pure ISPs.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about Starlink’s capacity and quality—how many customers can it add, at how much density, and where? But if it—and other satellite networks—can compete effectively on quality with terrestrial operators, something not quite possible now, price competition could follow.

A version of this story first appeared in Quartz’s Space Business newsletter.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.