Mar 10, 2009

The Broadband Gap: Why Is Theirs Faster? - Bits Blog -

I can't wait for the follow-on articles. This is an interesting assessment of the state of Broadband in the US as compared to the rest of the developed world.

I don’t know about manners, but it’s easy to find examples that American’s broadband is second-rate:

In Japan, broadband service running at 150 megabits per second (Mbps) costs $60 a month. The fastest service available now in the United States is 50 Mbps at a price of $90 to $150 a month.

In London, $9 a month buys 8 Mbps service. In New York, broadband starts at $20 per month, for 1 Mbps.

In Iceland, 83 percent of the households are connected to broadband. In the United States, the adoption rate is 59 percent.
The article points out that we're not so bad, but it can be much better. Considering our current economic status, globalization, and changing communications needs, I agree with President Obama's assessment of how important broadband is to the US:

President Obama campaigned on a promise of fast broadband service for all. On the White House Web site, he writes “America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access.” And the recent stimulus bill requires the Federal Communications Commission to create a national broadband plan in order to make high-speed Internet service both more available and more affordable.
It's a good vision that runs the risk of be thwarted by politics, stingy providers, and lobbyists if unchecked. Clay Shirky's book "Here comes Everybody" demonstrates the revolutionary effect of how the Internet (and the broadband that gets us there) lowers barriers to group interaction. Now more than ever it's time to consider how the nation will establish better channels for communications and not get left behind.

The Broadband Gap: Why Is Theirs Faster? - Bits Blog -

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