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 Post subject: Broadband - the REAL reason US trails other countries
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 800
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:

South Korea
Population: 50 Million
Area (sq miles): 38,961
Density: 1283 (people per square mile)

Population: 127 Million
Area: 145,925
Density: 870

Population: 81.8 Million
Area: 137,847
Density: 593

United States
Population: 315 Million
Area: 3,794,101
Density: 83
NOTE: 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.

 Post subject: Re: Broadband - the REAL reason US trails other countries
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5896
I think the biggest problem is that telecom companies in the US cannot let go of the old ways of providing service. They know the internet can do everything they can provide, but they don't want to let it go. For instance, Netflix/Hulu/etc. competes with cable TV and on-demand services from said providers, and I use someone else's service on their resources.

Since the internet is has the biggest demand and the biggest threat to them, and they can provide internet with TV, POTS, etc., they pretty much want to get you by your balls so you bend over and take their crappy service.

However, there is some good that came out of this. Netflix has a pretty dope streaming technique.

 Post subject: Re: Broadband - the REAL reason US trails other countries
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:55 pm
Posts: 9281
Location: back on the right side of the middle of the left side YES i'm folding
I think its changing, I live in rural Co. in a town of less than 1000, we have 10 meg available now and in the closest county seat a town of about 8000, they are installing fiber now. this is from a no name provider not a major like comcast or the like.

they also offer cable and cell service, and I can get internet via hard line or wireless (I am the last wired customer on the network though) I get about 6m up and down and can get 10 up and down now (to expensive though). the fiber that is going in will be 24m up and down.

when I got here 2 years ago, 2 down and 1 up was the fastest on wired, wireless had 2 and 2.

 Post subject: Re: Broadband - the REAL reason US trails other countries
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:24 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:51 am
Posts: 10
Location: God's waiting room, Fl
The reason for a lack of broadband is simple...there's no money in it for the provider.
If he can get you to pay for 3.0 and deliver 2.0 at an exorbitant rate, why would he bother
putting in the fiber optic cables to deliver anything faster?

When I kicked the cable company and their poor service to the curb in 2003 for 3.0 DSL I was promised 6.0 service in a matter of months...
Ten years on, and stuck as the other denizens of my neighborhood are deemed too poor to bother with the aforementioned line upgrade.

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