According to data released today by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), at the end of 2007 the United States ranked 15th out of the 30 member nations in broadband penetration—down from 12th place in 2006, and continuing its slide from fourth place in 2001.For years I had the noisiest, slowest dial-up in the world. It disconnected frequently and hardly managed a throughput speed of 1-3 kbps. That's right, kbps, not mbps. Viewing video or running applications online was out of the question, and updating a new installation took a minimum of 24 hours. I was happy to get faster service when I moved to this town.
"International comparisons cause a lot of hand-wringing in the United States, with apologists furiously working to excuse or poke holes in the results," said S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press. "But the reality is that because we lack meaningful broadband competition in this country, consumers pay too much for connections that are too slow. And many Americans—especially in rural communities—still don't even have high-speed Internet access. We need solutions—not excuses."
According to analysis by Free Press:
Even after accounting for factors like income, geography and education, more than a dozen countries are still ahead of the United States in broadband penetration.
Consumers in over two-thirds of the OECD nations pay less on average per month for broadband than consumers in the United States. Only seven countries pay more: Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Mexico, Iceland, Hungary, Poland and Norway.
In nearly half of the other OECD countries, the average advertised maximum download speeds are faster than the those in the United States. Ten countries have faster advertised cable modem download speeds than the United States. Twenty-six countries have faster advertised DSL download speeds—the United States is only slightly ahead of Mexico, Turkey and Poland.
The fastest advertised download speed in the United States was 50 Mbps—in Finland, France, South Korea and Sweden it was 100 Mbps, and in Japan, consumers can buy 1,000 Mbps connections.
It has become so expensive I can no longer afford it. My provider, Cox Cable, can only be described as a racket. If you are Lifeline qualified (on TANF, food stamps, Medicaid or have in Indian card), you can get their full feature bundle for $12 a year. The rest of us have to pay around $2,000. I have basic service. In March, I paid my bill by phone as usual and their system told me the transaction was completed. There was sufficient money in my bank account for the transaction. A week later they disconnected me, claiming I was insufficient when their phone system malfunctioned during the transaction. Their 20-something associate assured me it would be corrected. Two months later I received the bill: an extra $214.00. At the end of next week, I'll say goodbye to them and mainstream media forever.
The alternative is AT&T's DSL, an NSA lapdog, which I won't buy, or...noisy, slow dial-up. Fantastic.
In the 1980s consumers prepaid the large interstate telephone companies to provide residential fiber optic service, but rich CEOs decided it'd be more fun to just steal the money and never install it. A couple guys lost their jobs but, fortunately, they got to keep the stolen money, billions of dollars. Cities were happy to give cable companies free easements, maintained by public funds, to install their systems and become a broadband monopoly which, as you can see, treats customers any old way. I assume our corporation commission (Oklahoma) gets barrels of payola to perpetuate this criminal enterprise. I can't prove it, but there must be some reason I owe $214 for the provider's error. They won't get a penny.