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Digital Divide

I’ve blogged about this before, but it bears repeating. America is suffering compared to other countries with regards to internet access. We pay more for slower connections with fewer options thanks to our “free markets”.

Great op-ed in the New York Times about this new digital divide:

It doesn’t have to be this way, as a growing number of countries demonstrate. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks America 12th among developed nations for wired Internet access, and it is safe to assume that high prices have played a role in lowering our standing. So America, the country that invented the Internet and still leads the world in telecommunications innovation, is lagging far behind in actual use of that technology.

The answer to this puzzle is regulatory policy. Over the last 10 years, we have deregulated high-speed Internet access in the hope that competition among providers would protect consumers. The result? We now have neither a functioning competitive market for high-speed wired Internet access nor government oversight.

Our family has CenturyLink (was Qwest) for our internet. I pay $60/month for 20mbps down/ 896kbps up

Comcast’s package is $58/month for roughly the same speed.

CenturyLink does not offer me a higher speed – Comcast does: 30mpbs for $68/month, 50mbps for $115/month or 105mbps for $200/month.

That’s basically my options.

There is the Minneapolis wifi, 6mbps for $30/month. Not fast enough for me…

Just for comparison – I looked up British Telecom… Looks like I could get 100mbps down / 15 mpbs up for $70 / month

Yeah, less than half the cost of the Comcast.

BT’s 40mbps down / 10 mbps up is $54 /month

So, I could get twice as fast download speeds and 10 times faster uploads for less money in the UK.

Categories: internet.

Comment Feed

2 Responses

  1. While I do agree with you, I am constantly reminded how good we do have it when I realize that I have more bandwidth to my house than the entire office in Johannesburg shares for external internet access. And I pay dramatically less than what the office does.

    Codi12/16/2011 @ 2:28 pm
  2. Yes, certainly that is another digital divide. However, I am worried that our “free markets” have not resulted in cheaper, faster service. It has directly resulted in slower, more expensive service than our peer countries (in terms of development: europe, japan, etc)

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