Why does America's broadband stink on ice?


How fast is your broadband Internet connection? (Do you even have a broadband Internet connection?) A quick trip to Speedtest.net shows that I’m on a 13mbps/1.7mbps connection. That’s not bad, but in places like Japan, where you can buy a 150 mbps for $60 per month, little kids playing Quake would laugh at my puny connection speed. See, in other parts of the world, for any number of reasons, broadband speeds make American broadband speeds look like pure garbage.

So says Bits, at least, which has a little THE STATE OF BROADBAND series going on. First up: why is broadband so much faster in, say, South Korea and Japan than it is here in the U.S., formerly the most advanced country in the world?

We already know some of the reasons: many of these countries have insane population densities, which make it easier for telecommunication companies to wire up tons of people at a time, all within a small geographic area. How much sense does it may for AT&T’s bottom line to wire your single house that’s in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming?

In London, of all places, you can buy an 8 mbps connection for $9, whereas in New York, you’re looking at $20 for 1 mbps.

But, as Bits cautions, red-blooded Americans shouldn’t be too upset, since speeds here are getting faster. Things like Verizon’s FiOS, which, as we all know, is a fiber to the home scheme, should satiate your broadband appetite. Then there’s AT&T’s U-Verse. So, it’s not like Americans will be screwed out of a proper broadband experience for much longer!

I don’t even know what I’d do with something like FiOS. I’d be on hdbits all day long, limited only by my hard drive storage.