Marco Chiappetta wrote:
81 percent of the [US] has access to broadband with speeds greater than 2Mbps...with availability in only 81 percent of the nation, the United States ranks 36th among countries included in the study.
If you ask those in the know why the United States trails many other nations in broadband availability and speed, you'll like hear three possible reasons: burdensome government regulations, high corporate tax rates, and the relative high cost of bandwidth in the country.
High Speed for the Masses MaximumPC, February 2013, p26
I feel compelled to comment. Similar to this article, I constantly hear how the US trails other countries like Germany, South Korea and Japan. The implied comment is: "how could a super-power country like the US trail such smaller, lesser countries?" To me, there is one primary reason, but it is rarely mentioned and this article doesn't mention it either.
First I appreciate the article; the possible reasons listed above certainly exacerbate the situation, but they are not the primary reason the US lags so many other countries.
One of the US's greatest assets is also the reason it trails so many other countries: its size and topography. Below are a few statistics to compare the US to other countries:
Population: 50 Million
Area (sq miles): 38,961
Density: 1283 (people per square mile)
Population: 127 Million
Population: 81.8 Million
Population: 315 Million
Even when you focus on the Continental US, the Density is only 98
South Korea is about the size of Kentucky; Japan (Germany, too) is about the size of North & South Dakota combined. With smaller countries, and denser populations, the infrastructure cost of high speed internet is considerably less. Factor in the aforementioned burdensome regulations and corporate tax rates, the cost to develop the necessary infrastructure in the US would costs as much as...well, a Death Star
In time, Technology will allow US citizens to enjoy faster, cheaper access to the internet, but bit-for-bit, we will never be able to compete with smaller countries. In my opinion, it's not a fair, or even reasonable, comparison.