The BBC has a fantastic and — if you live in the U.S. — disturbing report on international broadband internet access.
It turns out that America is not, as it sees itself, the foremost shining beacon of progress, speed and modernity on the web.
By some measures, it comes last among the developed countries. Americans pay more for broadband than other countries do, and get slower speeds for their money. Here’s a basket of data from major cities:
And here’s the same data on a country-wide average:
Americans are often paying twice as much as everyone else, with monthly bills nearing $US100.
The reason: Local internet provider monopolies. The U.S. is a big place and although there are several national deregulated providers they tend to dominate the regions they are strong in. On top of that, phone companies’ copper wires can’t compete with TV companies’ cable wires. The result is that many customers have to choose between just one or two companies of they want fast web access.
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