U.S. lagging behind in broadband speeds

The United States is slipping behind other industrialized nations in terms of broadband Internet speeds, according to a Communications Workers of America report cited by USA Today. The report says the median download speed in the U.S. is now 1.97 megabits per second, or 246KB/s. That may not sound bad, but it’s only a fraction of the download speeds enjoyed by other countries. Median broadband speeds are 61Mbps (7.63MB/s) in Japan, 45Mbps (5.63MB/s) in South Korea, 17Mbps (2.13MB/s) in France, and 7Mbps (875KB/s) in Canada.

Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen doesn’t mince words describing how the U.S. stacks up. “We have pathetic speeds compared to the rest of the world,” Cohen says, adding that people aren’t paying attention to the fact that “the country that started the commercial Internet is falling woefully behind.” If the U.S. intends to catch up to other nations, Cohen believes the government must act now. To this effect, the Federal Communications Commission—which still defines a 200Kbps connection as “high speed” today—plans to publish a report regarding what can and can’t be advertised as a “broadband Internet service” this fall.

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    10/100/1000 fiber in Downtown Portland. We reside in the former location where Enron had their IT center in Portland. We elected to go the 10 route, as we rarely peak past 2.
    §[<http://indeego.com/twtelecom.png<]§ We pay more than typical residential fiber. I can download DVD's (Microsoft Select) in about 15 minutesg{<.<}g I frequently host torrents for ubuntu and other open source software when I can.

    • Stopher
    • 12 years ago

    The problem here is the companies providing the internet to us. They havn’t made enough profit off the lines they have up currantly to update them and put up new lines, and when that happens, there will be faster types of lines and we’ll be behind soon enough anyways.

      • Kharnellius
      • 12 years ago

      Haven’t made enough money? Lol, Comcast has been sucking me dry for some time now…Max DL speed ever?…500kbps. Ave =~ 250kbps.

      If you get cable too they earn a little over ~$100/month for basic cable and basic broadband….ALL over the same damn cable. Thats somewhere around $1200 a year from ONE customer subscribing to the LOWEST digital cable available (and most people around here have to use them since the only alternative is getting a freakin dish…ugh).

      No wait, actually you can also get DSL, if it’s available, and if you have a phone line….which I don’t need since I use my cell phone for everything so nix that idea.

      We seriously need competition in Chicagoland. *whimper*

    • Wintermane
    • 12 years ago

    Around here we get 1.5 service and actualy get that much;/

    We have been told the company plans to upgrade to 54 mbs in the nexyfew years so we are happy enough.

    All the us com carriers are planning expansions so that they can offer vid service and ppv.

    • poulpy
    • 12 years ago

    In France for $40/month you can get an ADSL box with:
    – 28Mb uncapped connection
    – free phone calls in France and 49(!) countries
    – 100+ digital TV channels (allows recording of shows and media center to play divx remotely)

    Not until I moved to UK I realised how lucky I was in France.
    Over here I pay more money for a 4MB (recently upped to 6MB) capped connection that doesn’t include any phone nor TV..

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    Here’s a nice summary with a bit of history:
    §[<http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/net/<]§ A good deal of the focus is on Net neutrality but it also covers some things such as the 1996 Telecommunications Act intention and failure as well as problems with why the US is lagging behind. I am not usually one for government regulation and intervention but sometimes it is in the best interest of the citizenry. For utilities it has often been a failure other than increasing corporate profits (where do politician's priorities really lay?) Electricity and media outlet 'deregulation' are good examples of this. Electricity deregulation isn't the best comparison though because it works differently as a commodity traded good but the way Enron was able to manipulate the market thanks to deregulation caused lots of damage to the public. Media outlet deregulation is a better example - it has resulted in consolidated ownership, fewer choices, and less competition rather than the supposed great variety and competition of deregulation. The internet access should be viewed as a public utility like electricity, gas, and water. If that means more regulation and government requirements so be it, it's obvious that the mono/du-opoly situations aren't serving the public in the best way.

      • blastdoor
      • 12 years ago

      I tend to agree that more regulation / govt involvment may be needed here.

    • Prospero424
    • 12 years ago

    From the “Broadband Reality Check II” study summary by FreePress, The Consumer’s Union, and the Consumer Federation of America:

    §[<http://www.freepress.net/docs/bbrc2-execsum.pdf<]§ /[<"The United States has the fourth-highest level of students who have never used a computer among OECD nations — exceeded only by Turkey, Slovakia and Mexico." "Other countries’ broadband successes can be largely attributed to their successful implementation and use of non-discriminatory, open access policy." "U.S. prices show no real signs of dropping. Cable modem prices are holding constant or rising, and DSL customers on average are getting less bandwidth per dollar than they did just a year ago." "Increased capacity abroad has made available “triple-play” services — fast broadband bundled with TV and phone service — for less than the cost of most standalone U.S. broadband connections." "The threat of competition — not government regulation — is the most important factor behind broadband infrastructure investment decisions." "The U.S. broadband market is dominated by regional duopolies of cable and telephone companies that face little competition." "Despite claims of “fierce competition,” Cable modem and DSL platforms account for 98 percent of the residential broadband market." "The top 10 broadband providers, each a regional monopoly in cable or DSL, made up over 83 percent of the entire U.S. broadband market." "A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on broadband shows that the median U.S. household has only two terrestrial broadband services providers available."<]/ And here's what changes they recommend: /[<"Remove existing barriers to entry to encourage the development of “Community Internet” systems by municipalities, public-private partnerships and local groups." "Make more “unlicensed spectrum” available for broadband Internet and other innovations by opening up unused TV “white spaces” — the vacant portions of the public airwaves between TV channels." "Modernize the Universal Service Fund programs to support broadband deployment." "Require the FCC to improve its broadband data collection and analysis. The FCC uses a low standard for broadband and employs meaningless metrics for coverage and competition." "Encourage and facilitate state efforts to better monitor broadband markets, so they can act where the federal government has failed."<]/ And I agree with those particular statements 100%

    • Prospero424
    • 12 years ago

    It’s really ridiculous that Canada has more than three times the average rate the US does. There’s no good excuse for it.

    For me, the “we’re just more spread out” excuse doesn’t wash. Even our major cities lag behind in average speed, speed/cost, and ESPECIALLY average upstream speed.

    And yes, we have to deal with a lot of old infrastructure, here, but again: most major cities in the US have more/higher-speed network infrastructure than those in many other countries who average higher speeds. Like someone else said: it’s all about that “last mile”, which just isn’t being taken care of in most of our markets, even when the demand is there.

    The fact is that we do have the capability in most population centers. It just isn’t made as available and affordable to the average consumer as it is in those countries mentioned as well as others. The question everyone, especially in the media, should be asking is “why?” Why is consumer network access faster and cheaper in the population centers of nearly every other 1st-world country than it is in the US?

      • axeman
      • 12 years ago

      Median is NOT the same as mean.

      This says nothing about averages.

      §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median<]§ What it DOES mean is that %50 of broadband users in the USA are stuck below 2mbps OUCH...

        • Prospero424
        • 12 years ago

        Yes, I know what the difference between mean and median is. I just screwed up in my wording in the first sentence. Not that it really matters in this context; the point is the same in that there’s no good excuse for it.

        Regarding the rest of my post: I was actually referring to another set of statistics that came out a few weeks ago that went into more depth, concentrating on Mb/dollar. If I can find the study, I’ll post it.

        Edit: Here’s a good quote: “U.S. prices show no real signs of dropping. Cable modem prices are holding constant or rising, and DSL customers on average are getting less bandwidth per dollar than they did just a year ago.”

        §[<http://www.freepress.net/docs/bbrc2-execsum.pdf<]§

    • paulWTAMU
    • 12 years ago

    And yet, for me 1.5 megs is more than enough, even for playing WoW. I can’t stream video of any decent quality but it certainly isn’t that hard to download for later viewing; I’ve used Amazon’s video service to test it out, and I’d say it goes all right.

    • slot_one
    • 12 years ago

    Damn, Japan’s average internet speed transfers data faster than my old Pentium-233’s hard drive.

    • marvelous
    • 12 years ago

    I actually download stuff from Korea from major community sites. TV shows for my parents at full internet speed of the IP. It’s hell lot of faster than bittorrent. It also doesn’t upload anything while I’m downloading.

    The sites in America are slow and bogged down unless it’s simple forums and no one is downloading.

    If people in America can’t do it companies from Korea or Japan would love to expand their business to America. Why not use them?

    • Mithent
    • 12 years ago

    Sounds pretty similar in the US as the UK then. We currently either have ADSL2+ up to 24Mbps if your desired ISP has local-link unbundled your exchange, or else ADSLMax up to 8Mbps. Cable, only in certain areas, is up to 10Mbps (there is now only one cable provider, due to many mergers).

    According to Thinkbroadband.com in February, though, the average speed was 2Mbps.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    I live in Canada and have always been happy with my ADSL connection. It’s reliable and consistent, which I consider to be the two most important things. My download speeds top out at about 155K per second and that’s plenty fast for me.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 12 years ago

    This has less to do with landmass or number of users the it does with the fact that Telecom providers in the states are required to allow competitors access to their infastructures (or something to that effect).
    I recall once reading an article about this (years ago now) and the impression I got when I walked away from it was that it was no wonder the US was falling behind Canada (talking the Pentium II days here). Our ISP’s could deploy a network and it was theirs to sell and use, while in the US if a major backbone was layed out, said company would have to allow other companies to access it, in an effort to prevent telecommunications monopolization bla. So they really have little motivation to up the transfer speeds when it would result in a similar boost to competitors.
    Think I got that right.

    • balzi
    • 12 years ago

    oh dear – typical american conversation warning.. I am just a fly on the wall. 😉
    $ drives most things in AUS aswell

    • Anonimous
    • 12 years ago

    Here in Sweden you can get 100Mb/s (10Mb/s up) broadband for just under US$47/month if you live in some areas. All of the community owned rental appartments in my town have this option. But most private houses and suburbs are connected to the same net. The only difference is the ISP really. Otherwise you’ll have to make do with ADSL/VDSL up to 24Mb/s.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    All about fiber and the last mileg{<.<}g We'll get there, eventually. The U.S. cares about the bottom dollar, other countries care about access to allg{<.<}g Also people/sq mile makes a difference, since the U.S. is so spread out, (yes even compared to Canada, where most people are in the south/cities.)

    • albundy
    • 12 years ago

    WTF are ya talking bout? I am only getting 3megabits in midtown Toronto in Ontario Canada.

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 12 years ago

      I am getting 20Mbps in New York.

        • albundy
        • 12 years ago

        But not NYC, right?

          • Shining Arcanine
          • 12 years ago

          No, but I do not see why that matters, especially since NYC has a higher population density than the rest of New York.

      • Corrado
      • 12 years ago

      I’m getting 16mbit (I can actually sustain 2mbytes/sec download speed) on Comcast in the middle of the woods, across the street from farm land and a creek/state park behind me.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 12 years ago

        I know someone who has cable and lives in New Mexico. Not in the sticks or anything but all his neighbors are old people who don’t even have Internet access at all or if they do it’s dial-up. So he gets pretty much his entire cable node to himself, his pings and download speeds are insane maybe that’s the case for you as well.

    • echo_seven
    • 12 years ago

    I looked up some of it, a site showing current Japanese ISP options is here:

    §[<http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pf2k-wlkn/inetjfaq.html<]§ Rates are pretty much comparable to ours, with the exception of FTTH(100 Mbps). The one eye-opening remark is "there are just under 8M FTTH users in Japan." I looked that up and pretty much what happened is that NTT started offering FTTH way back in 2001, and spent a ridiculous amount of money on the order of US $40 billion on rolling it out. In this case I guess I can see how the fact Japan is a smaller country allows them to do this so much faster. I was trying to find statistics for the distribution of FTTH in Japan but couldn't, but I still suspect the fact there are 35 million people in the greater Tokyo area(with a similar situation in Korea) helps this out a lot. edit: meant as reply to #14

    • balzi
    • 12 years ago

    I tried to find some information on Australia’s speeds. I don’t know if this is comparable, but I found this link. Note: it is from March 2006. but if the numbers can be properly compared to the recent ones, then everyone has sped up significantly.

    §[<http://www.smh.com.au/news/breaking/australia-lags-on-internet-front-world-bank/2006/03/10/1141701658354.html<]§

    • balzi
    • 12 years ago

    What’s the complaint all about? is there actually a large group of people (say a 10-20 million) who aren’t satisfied with the speed they get. Honestly, why lobby government.. if there’s a market, then you can be sure someone will being trying to exploit it.

    maybe your higher speed connections are priced too high?

    For a reality check – Australia has a little bit of cable in the cities, but typically people run ADSL. I am on 1.5Mbps (150kB) and I am considered fast.. most people are on 512kbps or 256kbps (hello.. that’s 50kB/s and less), and then there’s another large group on 56k dialup.

    i wonder if there’s more stats available for other countries. and I also wonder if this is an issue because the US wants to be first. I didn’t see any mention of the 200 countries who don’t have a faster median speed.

    • marvelous
    • 12 years ago

    America has whole lot of land to cover. Of course it can’t catch up to smaller countries like Japan or Korea. Those 2 countries are like gaming capitals of the world.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      Well true, you can’t deny there’s a lot of space to cover in the US, but do the cities have such high speeds and so many options? from what I hear there’s relatively little competition in the US when you see how big the market is.
      I never heard that you can get 100/10mbit in new york or LA for 47 bucks like in sweden, and in cities you can’t blame distance.

    • JdL
    • 12 years ago

    This is ridiculous. The US has a completely different infrastructure which severely constrains the implementation of improved technology. Further, the monopolistic nature of the telecom industry doesn’t have the incentives to improve at any reasonable pace.

    The real solution would be to significantly deregulate the telecom industry, opening up the market for new-tech startups and corporate spinoffs.

    One more thing I might add is that the comparisons are very bad, because while Japanese may be able to access Japanese content at 8MB/s, that number drops dramatically when the same user attempts to access content across the ocean–in the US. From that perspective, it is possible that the US has VASTLY more content available per bandwidth than users in any other country. So non-US bandwidth is not as useful (or “valuable”) as US bandwidth.

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 12 years ago

      Verizon is improving.

      • 0g1
      • 12 years ago

      Yes, that is true that Japan and Korea would have less bandwidth to America than an American would. But so do American’s have less bandwidth to Japanese and Korean’s to their own network … MUCH less.

      Japan and Korea also watch different TV shows, look at different internet sites, etc etc, so they have little use for looking at content from America.

      You also said that the US has a completely different infrastructure. Well, Australia’s infrastructure is fairly similar and the land size is almost as big, just 1/15th the amount of people. Australia’s government recently announced they are going to be rolling out optical cable in all major cities, with high speed WiFi for the country areas. Maybe America’s government will do something similar, but I doubt it.

      America can’t be compared to these other countries because America has way more cities and towns spread out. America is being compared to other countries (Australia included) that are more combined into fewer cities.

      ISP’s and Telecom’s being a monopoly? There is a lot more than 1 ISP in America (Verizon) so it’s not a monopoly. A lot of ISP’s in different cities in America actually already do upgrade their internet exchanges with faster hardware.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 12 years ago

      If they significantly deregulated, then all the companies that own the wires would just create their own little monopolies. So it would be a little worse than what we have now.

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 12 years ago

        Not all of the companies own the wires. For example, where the government paid for wiring with tax payers’ money, the public owns it.

        Not to mention, that if companies exclusively operated on their own wires, other companies would build their own networks, increasing the avaliable bandwidth in the United States. Sure, it will happen slowly, but at least then we will not have the bandwidth constraints that we encounter when everyone tries to operate on the same wires.

    • spiritwalker2222
    • 12 years ago

    I smell BS.

    I don’t even know anyone who has a 7Mb/s which is the fastest residential speed that you can get (from the major ISP’s). That and half the population is still on dial up. My parents don’t even get 28kb/s!

    P.S. I’m from Canada.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      You’re not from PQ, that’s for sure.

      Adi

        • spiritwalker2222
        • 12 years ago

        What’s PQ?

          • sigher
          • 12 years ago

          Province de Québec (or Parti Quebecois) apparently, anyway it refers to quebec

      • squeezee
      • 12 years ago

      At least if you live in western canada (bc/ab/sk) shaw cable provides 5, 10 and 25Mbit service for $40/$50/$100cad per month respectively.

        • adisor19
        • 12 years ago

        Shaw cable also throttles your bit torrent rendering your high speed connection as fast as dial up. In other words, avoid at all costs even if you don’t use bit torrent, on principle.

        Adi

          • DrDillyBar
          • 12 years ago

          easily bypassed.

            • DarkUltra
            • 12 years ago

            Easily bypassed how? Randomizong ports and packet header encryption does not work with the latest intelligent throttling tech. Tunneling your connection with full encryption through a VPN provider is expensive and bloat.

            My ISP §[<http://www.canaldigital.no<]§ throttle P2P a while but it seems to be off these days, they did get massive complaints.

      • d2brothe
      • 12 years ago

      I have 5 megabits, and have the option of 6 or 7 through ultra. I’m in Ontario so. LIke others said, its even greater out west.

      • Vaughn
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t know where u are from in canada, but if u live in an area with a decent size population Rogers highest internet speed is up to 18mbps.

      and I live 20 mins out side of toronto and have a 8mbps connection.

      And most major cities do.

    • Spotpuff
    • 12 years ago

    BUT CAPITALISM AND COMPETITION = GREATEST INTERNETS SPEEDS FOR EVERYONE USA FOREVER.

    (And Canada forever).

    This is sad and pathetic.

      • adisor19
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah, tiss pretty bad in Canada too except in PQ where by some miraculous coincidence, there is actual competition ! :O i know, i wasn’t expecting it either, there there you go.

      In Montreal, you have Colba.net offering 24Mbps down and 1Mbps up for 30$CAD and if you want some more upload they also offer Annex M with 3.5Mbps UP for 50$Cad for a totally unlimited, uncapped and unshaped high speed access. Of course speeds vary depending how far you are from the CO but if you can get it, you’re in heaven.

      Even the good old local cable company, Videotron, is offering 10 down and 850kbps up and again completely unlimited for 60$ a month.

      And there are others that i’m not even gonna mention but just check out the Canadian Broadband forums on DSLreports.com for more up to date info.

      Adi

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 12 years ago

      Capitalism is a name that Karl Marx coined to describe his distorted view of free market economics. As far as free market economics is concerned, I am really enjoying the 20Mbit/sec fiber connection that I get for $39.95 a month from Verizon. Then again, I suppose I either bribed someone or am lying, as your sarcasm implies that such broadband speeds cannot be attained at such a low price without government intervention.

        • gtoulouzas
        • 12 years ago

        y[

        • Spotpuff
        • 12 years ago

        I’m getting like 128K/s for $35or so a month, that’s capped for any encrypted/bittorrent traffic with a monthly bandwidth cap as well.

        How in the hell is the US and Canada so far behind? While you might be cruising along with high speeds, the vast majority are not, even when they have so-called “broadband”.

        Reference: §[<http://www.shoprogers.com/store/cable/internetcontent/lite_RCI.asp<]§ The two big players here are Bell and Rogers, and they both suck. There's resellers like Teksavvy, but if DSL sucks in your area then you're SOL. I thought competition was supposed to give us consumers the best choice, but instead prices went up and new lower-tiered service points appeared. I'd kill for 20Mbps but unfortunately it's not available.

          • adisor19
          • 12 years ago

          Quite sad in indeed. I should note that my previous example of Colba.net uses their OWN equipment and does not resell Bell’s DSL service. Again, for some weird reason, Quebec is the only province where there is some sort of competition when it comes to high speed internet access.

          Adi

            • d2brothe
            • 12 years ago

            Bell and Rogers compete in ontario for sure, I’m sure there are cable and dsl providers elsewhere in the country.

          • Shining Arcanine
          • 12 years ago

          Verizon is rolling out Fios in its areas. Given fiber’s overwhelming superiority to everything that other telecommunications companies have, I would expect Verizon to break the status quo once it has saturated its areas by beginning to move into other areas, as then none of the other telecommunications companies would be able to compete (without costly investments) and Verizon will have already had fiber in its areas so long that it will be too deeply entrenched for another telecommunications company to be a threat, and even if another telecommunications company begins fiber rollouts, it would have to do it in both their areas and also Verizon’s areas to threaten Verizon while maintaining a lower price on both fronts of major investment when Verizon will only have one front of major investement and thus Verizon would be able to operate at lower price points. Given what the outcome would be, there is little reason for Verizon not to roll-out fiber outside of its territory once it has finished wiring its territory.

          Free market economics is making things better; they just need time to happen. If the federal government declared today that we were all getting high speed internet connections by next year, we would have them twenty years from now and by then they will all be obsolete.

            • Prospero424
            • 12 years ago

            “Free market economics is making things better”

            Then why are we lagging behind everyone else even in major metropolitan centers?

            But that’s not really fair, because calling a system that caters to and is dominated to the 90th percentile by mono- and duopolies a “free market” is a joke in itself.

            • sigher
            • 12 years ago

            I think you got a point about the monopolies, in western europe the competition is indeed an observable force that forced prices down and speeds up, so free market CAN work for the consumer.
            What I don’t get is that they can ‘shape’ connections in america and mess up P2P and get away with it, and I don’t quite see why they try so hard either.

            • Shining Arcanine
            • 12 years ago

            “Then why are we lagging behind everyone else even in major metropolitan centers?”

            The United States is not lagging behind everyone else, as everyone else consists of more than 200 different countries:

            §[<https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html<]§ The United States is not #1 in broadband speeds, but it is not lagging behind /[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 12 years ago

            It’s a simple matter of not doing it if they don’t have to because of lack of competition. There are a few cases in the US of municipalities trying to set up their own broadband. In some cases it gets lawyered to death by the private providers, and in cases where it is built, surprise! the privatge providers ‘suddenly’ roll out their new service levels in short order.

            • Shining Arcanine
            • 12 years ago

            Then laws will need to be passed allowing the municipals to counter sue these companies for compensation for damages up to some multiple of their actual legal costs (say 20 times). When these companies realize the consequences of a loss, they will start to play fairly.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 12 years ago

        I would say in most places there is no real competition for high speed internet.

          • A_Pickle
          • 12 years ago

          In any large city, there is. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and there’s Bresnan Broadband internet (now churning at 8 mbps) and Quest DSL (now at 2 mbps).

          Capitalism FTW.

          • Shining Arcanine
          • 12 years ago

          Let time pass. You will find that your perception at one point in time is not true across time.

    • jvnderwe
    • 12 years ago

    When they say “median download speed” do they mean the average speed that users actually experience, or the maximum speed of their connection? According to my ISP, my connection is 10Mbits, but my actual download speeds never even approach that mark. With a really good connection I might achieve a steady 250KB/s at max, and even that is pretty rare.

      • Vaughn
      • 12 years ago

      Good point, but it depends on your area.

      i’m using rogers Extreme in canada 8mbps/800kbps, and from big name sites like Nvidia or ati or the apple quicktime site for HD trailers I always hit 90-100% of my download which is about 900+ to 1mb/sec. so it all depends on where u are downloading from and if they can push the bandwidth also.

    • wierdo
    • 12 years ago

    Reply to #2:

    Things are not as bad as in the 1980-90s there, but still…

    §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_asset_price_bubble<]§ " Prices were highest in Tokyo's Ginza district in 1989, with some fetching over US$1.5 million per square meter ($139,000 per square foot) "

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      Heh, they can keep their high speed.

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 12 years ago

      The Japanese Asset Price bubble occurred because population growth in Japan is negative. There are fewer people in Japan and thus a lower demand for land, leading to lower prices as demand declines. As long as our population keeps growing, that will not happen here.

    • PRIME1
    • 12 years ago

    Japan is like the size of my backyard. I bet they wired the whole place up in about a week.

    The problem in the US is how far apart everyone is and how a lot of those people don’t give a sheep fart about broadband.

      • wierdo
      • 12 years ago

      What about rural Canada? Their infrastructure is not limited to their urban areas.

      And even our densest urban areas generally suck compared to the rest of the industrial world.

        • Shark
        • 12 years ago

        They only need to wire about 10 people in Canuckistan.

          • wierdo
          • 12 years ago

          Yep, 7Mbps avg through arctic wastelands, killer bears, and oozing pools of radioactive sludge.

          Them mutants got it good! 😉

      • echo_seven
      • 12 years ago

      The issue, seems to be with US broadband users getting less bandwidth per user, rather than not getting broadband access to enough people. Reports around the internet seem to indicate we have about 55% broadband penetration(80% of total users), and that the market is saturated(people are more simply refusing to buy broadband than not being able to buy it). Further, I suspect to remain competitive, US corporate and university internet infrastructure has probably kept pace with Japan and Korea (witness the Abilene/internet2 network), so we probably have an abundance of “laid fiber” in the ground.

      …but all analysis of our own situation aside, does anyone else have some trouble believing 61 Mbps broadband access in Japan and 45 Mbps in Korea??? I’m no network engineer, but it seems the technical difficulty of supporting national internet access at that level would be astronomical.

        • deathBOB
        • 12 years ago

        What exactly is the main cost behind increasing speeds? And what kind of broadband market do other countries they have?

        • ztrand
        • 12 years ago

        [blockquote]..but all analysis of our own situation aside, does anyone else have some trouble believing 61 Mbps broadband access in Japan and 45 Mbps in Korea??? I’m no network engineer, but it seems the technical difficulty of supporting national internet access at that level would be astronomical.[/blockquote]

        I dont know about Japan and Korea but I’ve got 100Mbps for the equivalent of aound 30USD/month whee i live (real speeds are generally around 20-50Mbit to most servers).

        • Vaughn
        • 12 years ago

        It might be difficult on our infrastructure but not theirs.

        They have a much smaller population and the distance from home to home is alot smaller aswell.

        I believe those numbers.

      • sirdigalot
      • 12 years ago

      i have heard this so many times about how much space there is in the usa, well i live in chicago actually in chicago cook county, i can see big buildings and such, yet our DSL will only get no more then 2mb down, we pay for the 3mb package but the lines are so crappy and we are too far from the nearest RT that we get awful speeds, if it is stable, or course ma bell, sorry sbc, sorry at&t sorry ma bell… say that is not their problem and they cannot guarantee anything, then if the man comes to work on the box at the end of the street kiss goodbye to internet for the day… so no the problems are not because the usa is so vast the problems are becaus ethe infrastructure sucks if every person in the city limits of chicago cannot get full bandwidth DSL at least then there is something horribly wrong with the system..

      if you choose to live in the sticks do not expect high speed, but if you have to put up with cars shootings, buildings and small yards expect high speed.

        • moose17145
        • 12 years ago

        Maybe it’s just Chicago’s joke infrastructure then… cause I’m not in a city anywhere near the size Chicago and I’m getting about 5150kbps down and 675kbps up (Advertised speeds of 6mbps down and 864kbps up). If you feel like bending over for it, you can also get a 10mbps down line from charter here (1mbps up). And idk why you are bitching that you are not getting their full advertised speeds…. it’s a known fact that is the primary issue with DSL. So unless you are paying for a commercial line to guarantee the speed you are more than likely never going to get the full advertised speed unless you are right across the street from the DSL node.

    • Joerdgs
    • 12 years ago

    They can download almost 8 megabyte per sec in Japan!? Almost a reason to buy a house there…

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      Do the houses there still cost like a million bucks a square foot (property value)?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 12 years ago

    Whether you agree with the policy or not, it’s not the government’s policy to build that kind of high-speed infrastructure, instead left up to corporations to build it and sell it. I don’t think there’s enough market in uber-speed internet connections in the home and in small-medium businesses yet, so there’s not enough money in doing it. 10mbit seems positively insanely fast to most people, and that seems to be the high-water mark of cable internet (at least around here)

    On the other hand, I’m more worried about my upload bandwidth at home than I am my download. That’s a big issue, when you can pull down at 10mbit but can only upload at, for some people, 256-384kbit. I upload at 1Mbit, and to me that seems awfully tiny.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 12 years ago

      Yea…stupid money-grubbing corporations wanting to squeeze everything they can from consumers.

      Not sarcastic, btw. Last time I remember, Rogers Canada offered broadband for $25CDN / month … not sure on speeds, but that’s far cheaper than the $30-40US/month, if not more, for decent speeds here.

        • adisor19
        • 12 years ago

        Robbers, use traffic shaping so they are essentially SH*T :s avoid at all costs.

        Adi

          • Vaughn
          • 12 years ago

          traffic shaping can be avoided on a VPN connection for now.

            • sigher
            • 12 years ago

            There are canadian provider who throttle all encrypted data, including VPN’s, rogers I one I think.
            Here’s a useful link §[<http://www.azureuswiki.com/index.php/ISPs_that_are_bad_for_BT#Canada<]§

            • Vaughn
            • 12 years ago

            Interesting link.

            I use SecureIX VPN service with Encryption set to off. And my torrents speeds are fine.

        • Vaughn
        • 12 years ago

        just to add some facts to your post.

        Rogers hi-speed Lite which is :

        1.0 Mbps download and 128 Kbps upload.

        $35 a month with modem rental fee.

        And that connection I you couldn’t pay me to use. Way to slow for my needs.

        The only package that comes close to the $25 cdn a month u mention is

        Ultra Lite which is :

        128 Kbps download and 64 Kbps upload.

        which comes in at $25 after modem rental fee.

      • wierdo
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t think it’s a matter of market demand, but rather how much the broadband heavy weights are able to charge for what little bit they offer right now. If they don’t have a reason – like real competition for example – to beef up their infrastructure, then they can do it slowly and maximize their profits as long as they can hold out on footing those expenses.

      Verison seems to be a bit more active than the average heavyweight as of late, though, probably because they have competition in areas beside only internet access tied to their infrastructure investment fortunately.

        • Lord.Blue
        • 12 years ago

        Wait till FIOS 2.0 comes out. I seen speed tests hitting above 100Mb (and total throughput over 1Gb)

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      Yes and don’t forget that to download at 10Mbit it starts to require some upload bandwidth just for the ACK’s alone already, so I think the up/down ratio should not go beyond 10:1 personally, ie if people get 10mbit down give them 1Mbit up too.

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 12 years ago

        Do you mean above?

      • Vaughn
      • 12 years ago

      Read up on the design of cable internet and you will understand why the uploads speeds are always far lower than the download.

      i’ve seen this stated way to many times.

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