LA Times columnist David Lazarus wrote a good article today highlighting the fact that the nation that literally invented the Internet is falling behind the rest of the world in actually providing access to quality Internet service.
To add insult to injury, Americans also pay more for their feeble Internet connections. In Japan, where consumers enjoy the most plentiful broadband Internet, consumers pay an average of 27¢ per mbps (megabytes per second). In the US, which trails far behind Japan, Korea, most of Western Europe and Scandinavia in Internet speeds [see graphic below], we pay an average of $3.33 per mbps. In fact we probably pay more since this data is from 2011. Lazarus tells of an AT&T customer whose Internet bill since 2011 rocketed up by 25% to $25 per month.
Why are Europe and Asia beating the pants off the USA in the Internet race for low cost broadband? One explanation is that they enjoy government regulation that encourages competition over services rather than infrastructure, and policies that seek to protect consumers rather than gift Internet service providers with huge profits. A novel idea, since clustering Internet service control has clearly failed to provide Americans with either high quality or low cost broadband Internet.