May 22, 2007

US Internet Speeds are Really Slow..

Via Dave Farber's IP list from Press Etc:

Average broadband download speed in the US is 1.9 Mbps. It is 61 Mbps in Japan, 45 Mbps in South Korea, 18 Mbps in Sweden, 17 Mpbs in France, and 7 Mbps in Canada.

I've talked about this before.

Americans are falling further and further behind, in socializing with technologies like high speed interent access as well as cell phone tools and service that are much more dynamic than the rest of the world has. This is due to terrible public policies around these technologies and selfish companies who provide the services in monopolisitic ways.

Two to four years after I first talked about this, we are further behind than ever. It's appalling but you can read about the $200 billion scam on the US by Verizon, QWest and the Bell companies here.

Posted by Mary Hodder at May 22, 2007 06:33 AM | TrackBack

More than problems, these are symptoms of a broken democracy.

Bad telecom service & high prices for what we do have (both the DMCA & the 1996 Telecommunications Act were written by lobbyists)
High gas prices & obvious profiteering by oil oligarchs.
A war (we were rushed into) based on fabricated "intelligence."
A centralized media owned by corporations and with a cozy relationship to government, that is unable to tell the truth.
And the list goes on.

What could be done to rectify the situation?

Publicly funded elections.
Ballots with an auditable paper trail.
Close the revolving door between business and government (or substantially slow it down).
Transparency in government. All non-classified meetings should be podcast.
And the list goes on.

Posted by: Joel at May 22, 2007 02:51 PM

As much as people are justifiably angry at the phone companies, the really high speed access in some of those other countries are provided by Fiber to the Home. I don't see anything else that can provide that except the telcos. I think what we need are public policies that both encourage build-out but also have a lot of consumer protections built in. The proposed Omnibus Broadband Bill in NYS has a lot of those built into the bill. There's good information on the details of the bill at
There are other ideas on public policy at

Posted by: Laura Unger at May 24, 2007 06:16 AM

The point, and you can read about it in detail at the muniwireless link i posted above but here it is again:

is that the telcos were ALREADY PAID 200 Billion Dollars to put in fiber, 9 years ago.

And then kept it as profits for themselves. And now the actually want more money from us to put in fiber, and they want to raise rates to cover the cost of the fiber.

That would literally mean, if they get everything they want, triple payment.

If that's not encouragement, I don't know what is.

They were paid already, and the deal was, "put in fiber, and we'll give you the $200 billion up front."

They stole the money because they didn't do it, and now they are whinning that they need another subsidy, and on top of that, they actually need the people getting service to pay dramatically more for the new and improved service we will be getting.

If it wasn't so evil, it would be biz-dev-genius to do this to the American public.

Posted by: mary hodder at May 24, 2007 06:48 AM