Saturday, January 14, 2006

why does my broadband service blow?

Thinking about our Internet problems in class on Thursday, I'm amused by this blog post. Larry Lessig has a good explanation about why the US lags behind other countries in providing cheap, fast Internet broadband service (comment here). As Lessig writes,

"Today, in the world where the duopoly increasingly talks about returning us to the world where innovation is as the network owners says, broadband in the US sucks. We are somewhere between 12th and 19th in the world, depending upon whose scale you use. As the Wall Street Journal reported two months ago, broadband in the US is “slow and expensive.” Verizon’s entry-level broadband is $14.95 for 786 kbs. That about $20 per megabit. In FRANCE, for $36/m, you get 20 megabits/s — or about $1.80 per megabit.

"How did France get it so good? By following the rules the US passed in 1996, but that telecoms never really followed (and cable companies didn’t have to follow): “strict unbundling.” That’s the same in Japan — fierce competition induced by “heavy handed” regulation producing a faster, cheaper Internet."

The WSJ article is a good read as well. If France and more than 10 countries are beating the U.S. in technology, we've got to be doing something wrong, no?

1 Comments:

Blogger ed said...

Two relevant articles in the NYTimes, one was yesterday in the Weekend Business section called "Hey, Baby Bells: Information Still Wants to Be Free". This article which includes some similar, but different than WSJ article, stats about the slow rates in the US, but also talks about these deals that providers are striking with exclusive content providers and td the threat to internet neutrality.
(story here)

Another article in todays NYtimes about technology to share broadband connections to increase speed (normally per your agreement you can't share your connection), but this model is each home has a connection, but by pooling 10 connections, one of which each is paying for, you achieve much higher speeds, of course not sure how ISPs would like this.
(story here)

8:20 AM  

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