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2008 International Broadband Rankings

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the why-your-pipes-suck dept.

Communications 198

itif writes to let us know about a major new report, released yesterday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, showing how the US and other countries compare in terms of broadband access, speed, and price. The rankings (PDF) place the US 15th, this country having fallen every year since 2001. Here's the full report (PDF). According to the report's executive summary: "The US broadband policy environment is characterized on the one hand by market fundamentalists who see little or no role for government, and see government as the problem; and on the other by digital populists who favor a vastly expanded role for government (including government ownership of networks and strict and comprehensive regulation, including mandatory unbundling of incumbent networks and strict net neutrality regulations) and who see big corporations providing broadband as a problem. Given the policy advocacy and advice they are getting, it is no wonder that Congress and the Administration have done so little."

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Pfftt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273330)

Because I trust the people about bandwidth that can only upload at 1.3kb/s

Government provided broadband? (1, Offtopic)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273340)

I for one do not want the US government providing my broadband access. Consider that this administration has had to go out of its way to perform warrentless wiretapping, and this resulted in an open loop that was able to be leaked to the public. Can you imagine if the US government was in full control of all telecommunications? I doubt we would have even known about the wiretapping because there would be no middle man.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1, Offtopic)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273366)

Well, why don't you take responsibility for fixing your government so terrorists don't have to do it for you? It's your mess.

Re:Government provided broadband? (2, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273464)

What have terrorists done to fix the U.S. government?

Re:Government provided broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273502)

What have terrorists done to fix the U.S. government?
At least they tried..

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274204)

Bin Laden has actually done LESS damage in the last ten years, than a single congresscritter in the same timespan.

What we need is LESS government, and more choices.
Run 3-4 wires to every home.
Let the consumer decide if they want Comcast or Time-Warner or Verizon.
Put the power in the hands of the People, not the ______ politicians.

ALSO: Once again the survey compared apples and oranges. It compared little tiny states (france, britain, netherlands) versus a 3000-mile wide union of states. That makes no sense. A survey should compare apples to apples. The 50-member United States v. the 30-member European Union v. the 13-member Canadian Confederation v. the 6-member Australian Federation.

Once that is done, you see that the U.S., E.U., C.C., and A.F. are essentially equal.

As you would expect for continent-sized regions.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274546)

Bin Laden has actually done LESS damage in the last ten years, than a single congresscritter in the same timespan.
So has Stalin. So have criminals who've been incarcerated for the last 10 years. So, that point of yours is epic fail. But just that one.

Well, I for one can already decide between several providers here in central Ohio. Time-Warner, AT&T, WOW! Cable, etc. However, prices and service have both gotten worse across the board over time. In the end this choice hasn't benefitted me much, but you can bet that all three of those companies have increased their bottom line quite a bit.

What one would assume would lead to competition that's "good" for the consumer isn't always so good (from my experience). I see it with fuel prices, cell phones, cable TV and broadband, etc. Companies don't have to actually provide better and cheaper service than their competition. They just have to convince you that they suck less, and that's altogether different, and easier, and worse for the consumer.

Re:Government provided broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275192)

So has Stalin. So have criminals who've been incarcerated for the last 10 years. So, that point of yours is epic fail. But just that one.
Way to compare apples and oranges dumbass. Hey, I know somebody who did commit a crime this decade, so your point is completely invalid. Seriously. Why isn't anybody listening to my logical falacies? C'mon guys! It looks like a good argument on the surface!

Re:Government provided broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274388)

I forget.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1, Offtopic)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274020)

Yeah, they're "fixing our government"? Is that what you call killing 3000 innocent civilians in one day?

Hamas, I guess, has done so much for the freedom and stability of Gaza? The Taleban was a giant hippie freedom lovefest in the park for Afghanistan? Somalia's better off because people are tortured and killed for having parents who don't bow their knee to the demands of bullies and tyrants?

One major way people do take responsibility for fixing theirr governments is to limit the power of a government to do your people harm. That's exactly what DrLang21 was talking about doing. Keeping the government's hands out of as many things as possible and making them accountable to the people is a prerequisite to "fixing your government".

Your hate-filled rant praising 19 mass murderers does nothing to improve anyone's life.

Re:Government provided broadband? (-1, Flamebait)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274612)

Yeah, they're "fixing our government"? Is that what you call killing 3000 innocent civilians in one day?

I sure as hell don't call them innocent. People have been in the streets protesting the actions perpetrated by the people working in that building around the globe for many, many years. They got what they deserved.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275516)

I sure as hell don't call them innocent
To stand out as one speaking out of his/her ass on slashdot is quite an accomplishment. Kudos. I'm glad to know that you are qualified to judge the guilt or innocence of 3,000 people. Maybe you could throw us a source on the Evil that infested those towers? Most people who died in NY were normal people going about their lives, much in the same way as you do. Should someone walk into your workplace and shoot you in the head, I'll be sure to say that ShieldW0lf got what (s)he deserved. How you have positive karma I'll never know.

Re:Government provided broadband? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275238)

Yeah, they're "fixing our government"? Is that what you call killing 3000 innocent civilians in one day?

Funny, we kill people "accidentally" left and right. Are we "fixing the government" of Iraq?

The USA is the world's largest consumer of Cocaine, but we are continually fucking with cocaine-producing nations. We are the largest consumer of Afghani heroin, but we paid the Taliban to combat Opium production, no joke. The Bush family has been doing business with the Bin Laden [www.cbc.ca] family for many years (and long before that, they did business with Hitler [guardian.co.uk] ) Note that I have included links only from reputable publications. Note also that if you search for documents related to these particular scandals, you have a very hard time finding documents in the US news. That's because 10 megacorporations control 95% of the media in the USA, and they're all owned or controlled by rich people getting richer on the status quo.

One major way people do take responsibility for fixing theirr governments is to limit the power of a government to do your people harm. That's exactly what DrLang21 was talking about doing. Keeping the government's hands out of as many things as possible and making them accountable to the people is a prerequisite to "fixing your government".

We're well past that point today. We've currently got a president who the people never elected. He wouldn't have even had the electoral college in the last election (he already didn't have the majority vote) if all votes had been counted. And the electoral college is unnecessary and inherently undemocratic. Only four times has it overridden the will of the American people, and in at the very least the last occasion it was both unwarranted and, simply, the wrong decision. We ended up with an AWOL DUI puppet instead of a genuine war hero without whom we might not have the internet today. The massive attempts to make Gore look like a whiny bitch worked and distracted all the sheeple away from the reality of what was occurring.

I'm not claiming that the Republicans are the problem. The populists are the problem, and unfortunately, that's most of our representatives - and most of our population.

Re:Government provided broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275260)

Hamas, I guess, has done so much for the freedom and stability of Gaza? The Taleban was a giant hippie freedom lovefest in the park for Afghanistan? Somalia's better off because people are tortured and killed for having parents who don't bow their knee to the demands of bullies and tyrants?
i hate when ppl ignorantly parrot what they hear on FOX news .... try thinking critically !

Hamas is a democratically elected government of its people why are they terrorists ? because the deny the existence of isreal .... those are just words now use your mind and tell me what isreal has been doing for the last decades .. US sponsored genocide ... and you have the fucking nerve to call them terrorists.

you wail for a measly 3000 .... when your soldiers kill 6 orders of magnitude more ... are you blind ?

Re:Government provided broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275302)

Is that what you call killing 3000 innocent civilians in one day?
Well, if you want to have a contest, your government "fixed" the country of Japan by killing 130,000 innocent civilians in one day, and then decided to murder another 50,000 a few days later to make sure that things would stay fixed.

I don't agree with Terror tactics, but Americans can't really say much on the topic without sounding hypocritical.

Re:Hello? Anyone Home? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273444)

Can you imagine if the US government was in full control of all telecommunications?

They learned long ago they don't need "full control" They learned where the choke points are and gather information there.

Legislators do nothing simply because it's not a high enough priority for the telcos. Right now the telcos are preparing to decimate cable/satellite and rid themselves of their public obligations (POTS) altogether.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

carlvlad (942493) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273582)

Well, the report is slashdotted. Is Malaysia on the list ? Our ISP can be considered as government provided and monopolized the market. Blame wrong method of privatization.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273622)

Government provides services are generally sub-par anyway.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274320)

What we need is local/state government to REMOVE the monopoly status on cable companies, and allow others to enter:

- Let competing companies lay-down 3-4 wires to each home.
- Put the power in the hands of the People, to decide if they want Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, ... as their Cable Internet provider.

Multiple cables to every home so consumers have a choice. As the Libertarians say, "Pro-choice in everything".

Re:Government provided broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275828)

Do you have any idea how much it costs to lay fiber down to a single household? Do you know how much it would cost to do it 4 times? In order for you to only use one of the lines...

Consumer choice is great, but laying down fiber (or coax for that matter, but fiber is the future) is prohibitively expensive.

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274832)

why do you care if the government is tapping into it. Are you doing something illegal? do you have something to hide? if you don't, then it really shouldn't matter if they are snooping. The government can snoop on my internet all they want, all they'll see is online gaming and pr0n surfing!

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

kextyn (961845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275168)

Because this is a free country where we should be free from spying unless we are criminals (or at least suspected...with good reason.)

Re:Government provided broadband? (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275398)

This argument is getting really old. How about you let me install a webcam in your bathroom? If you have nothing to hide then you wouldn't mind right?

I like my privacy, plain and simple.

How many countries... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273364)

How many countries subsidize telcos with tax dollars to create their infrastructure? I'm curious.

I know we are a spread-out nation here in the US, but there is no reason why cities with people living on top of each other (LA, Boston, New York, etc) can't easily have the infrastructure that the rest of the world has.

I'd buy the spread-out excuse, except our big cities had poor broadband, and our rural areas are still on dial-up. In that regard, we are very much behind other nations.

That's your tax dollars at work!

Re:How many countries... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273400)

How many countries subsidize telcos with tax dollars to create their infrastructure? I'm curious.

You of course realize that in the US our infrastructure has been heavily subsidized with tax dollars, right? But the problem is that thanks to deregulation, the telcos instead just pocketed the money and never actually provided anything.

Re:How many countries... (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274278)

>>>"Never provided anything"

Oh really? Hmmm.
- They upgraded their phones line from analog to digital, thus increasing speeds from 28k to 56k during the late 1990s (I personally benefitted from this one).
- They wired-up rural communities that used to have no cable television (this too benefitted me).
- They upgraded central stations to provide DSL (again, this benefitted my neighborhood)
- They upgraded cable to digital to provide internet (ditto).
- They are laying fiber optics in various cities to provide ultra-fast access.
- They extended the celluar network so that, even when driving in Emtpy Wyoming, I can still get service.

Yeah.
You're right.
They've done absolutely nothing.
(rolls eyes)

Re:How many countries... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274902)

RTFA and you'll see that countries with less money have upgraded their infrastructure considerably more than we have. The telcos in those countries also charge less for access, and every single year, we drop in the broadband rankings. Given that we actually give tax dollars to the telcos to support infrastructure (which I assume most countries don't, but I could be corrected) I'm curious how higher rates + tax dollars = worse service than the rest of the world provides.

Re:How many countries... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274924)

1. not upgrade to digital (they're still analog lines), but simply improving the lines.

2. yes.

3. yes.

4. ? cable internet doesn't have to do with digital cable. AFAIK, digital cable is TV service being provided in the manner of a cable internet signal.

5. which is not being done as agreed to. verizon is implimenting a closed fibre system, rather than an open system, as it was with copper. also several years late.

6. yes.

Re:How many countries... (3, Informative)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273742)

Norway has directly invested the money made from our oil resources into our infrastructure. And before the oil platforms made a profit we received loans from a lot of other countries; with security in the oil. It is far from perfect, but the profit from the oil is considered to belong to the people and should therefor be used to build, and provide services, that benefits all. In practical terms this meant that in the sixties, seventies and eighties we build schools, medical facilities, phone lines, roads and started providing free (well almost) medical care for all citizens and public scholarship and loan to all that gained entry to a university or academy (and gaining access have been uncriticized as being too easy).

Newest policy of the state is that at the end of 2007 98% of the population should have access to broadband, and hopefully 100% at the end of 2008 (we have some spots with low population that is kinda hard to reach; but we are getting there). Of course access don't mean that it is free, you still have to pay for it, but at least if you wanted a connection you could have one.

I am not trying to make any type of point with this really. Just make a bit of an explanation before I replied; Norway subsidized their Telecompany to create the infrastructure; though at the time the Telco was operated by the state. Today it is partly privatized with the state still owning a minor controlling part (I think the term is).

Re:How many countries... (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274246)

Great! Can I move in?

Re:How many countries... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275536)

And doesn't Norway have its social security funded for the next 100 years?
It's true that sitting on a big oil reserve and having only 4 million habitants helps a lot, but how many trillion dollars have the US sent down the drain already?
Can you imagine that money being used in something, let's say, constructive?

Re:How many countries... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273812)

The big cities are actually harder to connect than the suburbs. Too much infrastructure already in the way.

Re:How many countries... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274940)

Google a year or two back ran an April Fool's joke about dropping network lines into your toilet and someone would connect them all via sewers. It wasn't entirely a joke. Some universities are starting to run network lines in sewers because they are easily accessed, cheaply installed, cheap to maintain, and don't interfere with existing infrastructure.

Re:How many countries... (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275488)

Some universities are starting to run network lines in sewers because they are easily accessed, cheaply installed, cheap to maintain, and don't interfere with existing infrastructure.
Course, then this happens [boston.com]

Re:How many countries... (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274232)

I know we are a spread-out nation here in the US, but there is no reason why cities with people living on top of each other (LA, Boston, New York, etc) can't easily have the infrastructure that the rest of the world has.

I think we could go a lot farther than that. We probably couldn't run fiber to every farm in West Virginia or every ranch in South Dakota, but even small cities and suburbs would be doable if it were a priority. Here in Lafayette, LA [lafayettegov.org] we are running fiber [lusfiber.com] to every household in the city via our municipal power company. We're not quite small town America, but we don't even come close to New Orleans levels of population density, let alone New York or Boston.

Is it a perfect solution? Well, it's not implemented yet, so it's hard to say. Probably not. LUS' website still requires Internet Explorer to pay your electric bill, so I can't imagine this project will go off without a few hitches; but they're trying. So far they're showing every sign of succeeding. At any rate the conduit to my house has been laid for several weeks, so something is working.

The federal government has already shown itself to be largely uninterested in fixing this country's broadband problems... Maybe it's time for local government to step in. They'll have to make it a priority (as Lafayette did), but it can be done. Towns far smaller and more rural than Lafayette have done it too [eatel.com] .

*Disclaimer: I don't know if EATEL offers fiber to every home in Ascension Parish, but it is definitely a strong push by a very small local business/government alliance to take their digital future into their own hands.

Extremely slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273376)

Slashdotted already?

Re:Extremely slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273414)

No, that's just the poor state of America's internet.

Re:Extremely slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273992)

Does anyone have the rankings, and post them here?

take that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273386)

Yay, I'm 19th. take that you Americans!!!

But seriously, its not that your falling. But that other countries are rising faster than you.

I hate to side with the obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273388)

You have two choices: you either force telecoms providers to supply broadband to even rural sites and force them to allow competing providers to install equipment at the local exchange - as has been done in the United Kingdom, for example - or you don't. If you don't, since telecoms provision is a natural monopoly, you're going to get crappy service if you keep it privatised and unregulated.

So, executive summary: in an unregulated market, the situation will appear best in countries where almost everyone lives in high rise blocks, and worst in precisely the opposite geography - the USA. In more regulated markets, few will have particularly brilliant access, but almost everyone will have something better than dial-up.

Socialism vs capitalism, round 16,398.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273644)

Well...
What if the government owns the physical infrastructure, or a non profit body, and then providers rent the infrastructure from them... And force them to reinvest any and all profits in improvements of the underlying network.

Kinda like the UK system, but where the owner of the infrastructure isnt trying to compete with the same companies they're providing infrastructure to.
In the UK, BT have to rent out lines wholesale to other ISPs as well as allowing the bigger isps to install kit in exchanges... Regulators actually keep the wholesale prices high, so that the companies installing kit in exchanges don't get priced out of the market by bt wholesale. The problem is that, installing kit in thousands of exchanges is still a high barrier to entry, and its not financially viable to do it everywhere, so some people are still stuck with no alternative to BT's service, which is kept priced high by the regulator.

If you instead do away with loop unbundling, and turn over the infrastructure to an independent non profit, then any isp and any end user will all be in the same boat.

As you've pointed out, privatised telecom provision will never be fair for everyone, and regulation can make things worse in some cases.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (4, Informative)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274090)

The situation in the UK is peculiar and accidental. Back in 1982 the government sold off the state-owned telco, including all the lines in the ground (now worth a vast fortune) for not nearly what it was worth. But you could argue that at the time very few people really understood that the plain ol' telephones would turn into such an important service for the economy.

Since then it's been mismanagement all the way. A series of toothless regulators did nothing when BT basically refused to get into broadband (1995-2000), did nothing when BT refused to install fibre to the consumer (1992-today), actually backed down when BT refused to implement LLU deadlines required by law (2000-2003), and are still doing nothing about access speeds, the backhaul network, price of POTS, phony "unlimited DSL" adverts, premium line rip-offs, fibre again, etc. etc.

BT realised belatedly that they could make a bit of cash from one technology, ADSL, which didn't require them to dig anything up and only needed them to install a few racks of equipment at the exchange. The only thing the regulator did was force them to sell wholesale ADSL to themselves (BT) at the same price as to other providers. I was involved in the early days and the other providers still had to fight to access BT's order provisioning systems (which involved a lot of rekeying orders multiple times into slow BT-owned mainframes).

So now most peole in Britain have, almost accidentally, access to speeds around 2-20 Mbps (mostly 2-8) for still quite a lot of money.

But, here's the thing. Where is the investment in speeds over ADSL 2+? BT have spent a few billion implementing what they call their 21st Century Network [btplc.com] , which amounts to replacing a bunch of ATM and Frame Relay switches with IP routers, which will allow BT to reduce their costs. But where's the fibre into homes and offices? Where's 100 Mbps+ going to come from? What about the 3/4G mobile access that isn't charged at ££/megabyte?

None of this bodes well for the future of Internet access or indeed the economy as a whole.

Rich.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274180)

Eh, excuse me, but take a look on the list and you will find that Finland is third. Finland is geographically large country with a small population having population density of 15.6 per km where as US has 31 per km. The telecommunication sector is one of the freest in Europe with fierce competition between communication providers. You can get broadband, be it based on DSL or 3G wireless networks, in whole country. The government doesn't subsides the industry nor usage of telecommunication. So you have country with low population density and free markets, and things are still working.

Now, you might wonder why. Well, it's the competition. Providing telecommunication is lucrative business with healthy profit margins, so healthy actually that goverment can regulate and allow competition to emerge. In Finland all network providers have obligation to rent their network to other communication providers, and the price that they take from it must be the internal price based on the price of their infrastructure value and up keeping. To make sure that companies follow this obligation goverment monitors the companies and makes sure that the game is fare and played by the rules. Still even with these regulations and obligations in place, telecommunication companies do business, get healthy profits and invest to new infrastructure. DSL is nowadays ubiquitous. GRPS and EDGE work country wide. 3G networks that are soon whole nation wide. Actually when the 3G networks cover whole country, there has been talk about shutting down 2G networks and deploying them as 3G. There is also EV-DO based @450 wireless network, especially targeted to remote areas. In bigger cities network providers have started projects to connect new fiber optic networks directly to houses, mainly to housing cooperatives.

Actually providing Internet connections have become so cheap that in my town, Turku (pop 178 000, metro 235 000), the local cable operator, a private company, has started to provide free Internet connections to every household on one of the town's low income neighborhoods, Varissuo, where all inhabitants can get 256kb connection free. Basically it's bait and switch, were they think as people get the free connection they will eventually take a more faster service from them. I would say that having good broadband service is more about having healthy competition than anything else.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274394)

You appear to be agreeing violently with me.

In Finland all network providers have obligation to rent their network to other communication providers, and the price that they take from it must be the internal price based on the price of their infrastructure value and up keeping.
This is precisely the kind of non-free-market regulation that I was talking about. Of course you can have competition within the framework of regulation, but "just the right amount of competition" is quite the opposite of "laissez faire".

Also, a comparison of population density is fairly useless. To simplify, if a country had nearly all its population in a few cities, it'd be irrelevant that it also had 1000km^2 of nearly barren desert. Please compare the population distribution of Finland and the US.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (1)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274758)

The question you should be asking yourself, is there such a thing as "laissez faire" market. In US you too have regulation starting from laws regarding consumer protection to competition laws, so where you draw a line on when a market is regulated and when it's not? If we look a "laissez faire" market it's actually a market where there is no competition as eventually market will turn into a monopoly, duopoly or cartels. Now, competition is good, market economy is good, free markets are good, but free markets aren't natural born, they are born out regulation. That's why we have anti-trust legislation, that's why we have competition regulators, to make sure that the market and economy works. So why not to regulate?

Why not regulate when in example communication networks you are market where competition is restricted naturally, as there is only so much opportunities to build wire to homes and only so much air frequencies to use. Why not use regulations? It makes the market work, it allows everyone have a connection, it allows everyone to have a connection at a fair price, it allows investment to new telecommunication networks, etc.. Why not regulate? The thing in here is that the one thing that matters are the end results. In US the "laissez faire" attitude has gone way overboard and you are now paying it in form of antiquate and over priced telecommunications or collapsing high way bridges. The end results matter only.

PS. In US 79% of population lives in urban areas where as in Finland only 61% live in urban areas.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275104)

The question you should be asking yourself, is there such a thing as "laissez faire" market
Please stop evading the point by creating a false dichotomy. A market where the government forces providers to rent their lines out to anyone at cost is less laissez faire than one where the providers can do what they want with their own property. You're completely misunderstanding laissez faire if you think that anti-trust law has any place whatsoever in a laissez faire society. Monopolies, duopolies and cartels are not antithetical to capitalism, unless they're created by government manipulation of the market.

I'm not saying that laissez faire works. I'm stating that you can't redefine terms just because you don't like the outcome of their implementation.

PS. In US 79% of population lives in urban areas where as in Finland only 61% live in urban areas.
340E3 km^2 vs 9.8E6 km^2. Your "rural" is fairly urban, on a US scale.

I'm done with this discussion. Have fun.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23275282)

Sir, free market != laissez-faire. The former implies competition, the latter does not.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274188)

Well, there's progress being made by companies filling the rural access gaps. Dial-up isn't the big thing in rural markets that it used to be. Now it's 512Kb to 1Mb per second wireless.

My cousin for example has 768k down and 256k up via wireless. She lives smack in the middle of a 42-acre plot of land that's 6 miles from the closest town, and that town only has about 900 people in it.

The price is high, the latency's high, the throughput is lower than cable or DSL, and weather can have pretty bad effects on the signal in winter. It's still better than dialup. It even includes a dialup account for the rare event when the wireless isn't working or for when she travels.

A good friend of mine lives in a town of 4500 people which is the largest town for 30 miles in any direction. He has 3.5Mb DSL, and when he moves a little closed to the phone company's building he can have 7.5Mb DSL. That's far better service than was available just a couple of years ago.

AT&T is supposed to be rolling out fiber service in my town of 43,000 people this year. From the rumors I've heard, it's supposed to be up to 100Mb down and 12Mb up. I'd be happy with 20Mb and 2Mb, honestly, but I'd probably find a way to use 100Mb once in a while.

In all, the US is making progress, but it's not as fast as people would like. My main complaint isn't how slowly the speeds are improving, but the high prices for how crappy the network management (Comcast, for example), speeds, and service maintenance are.

Re:I hate to side with the obvious... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275030)

also got wireless access here through Sasktel. 2m/256k. 15 miles from the nearest town and about 25 miles from the tower (which is just a cell tower with some extra stuff bolted on) and i get maximum signal strength (it's DOCSIS-based), so it'll likely reach all the way until you fall out of the LOS. not cheap ($60/month) but it's extremely reliable (currently at 83 days uptime and counting, and that's only because i had to unplug the modem to reorganize my cables.) and it's far nicer than satalite (as it's terestrial) and it's barely affected by weather at all (heavy fog knocks the signal strength down a bit, but it keeps working fine)

Lack of competition is the biggest reason (5, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273410)

Take a look at from MarketWatch about Comcast's earnings which were released yesterday. Note anything interesting about it? How about this part: [marketwatch.com]


He said that despite a tough economic climate, Comcast has been able to raise average revenue per-customer to $107 from $96 over the past 12 months.

In this case, he is Chairman Brian Roberts. In other words, because there is almost none to zero competitors in most of the markets Comcast serves, they can get away with continually raising prices. That is why the U.S. continues to lag the world in broadband.

Yes, there is the whole issue of running fiber and cable long distances in the U.S. compared to other countries like South Korea and Japan, but when you look at places such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc, you see the same pattern. Only one, or if you're lucky maybe two, providers from which to choose your broadband service.

In my area, we have two choices; Comcast or Verizon. I can pay $100/month for Comcast's triple-play or I can pay $100/month for Verizon's triple-play. But I can't pay $33/month for just the broadband access or $33/month for just the cable subscription (I currently pay $53.31/month for the combined Basic and Standard cable service).

This is the overwhelming reason broadband penetration in the U.S. continues, and will continue, to lag behind the rest of the world. The only solution is, unfortunately, government interference. Force the providers to offer their lines to others based on the logic that it was taxpayers who helped to subsidize the laying of all the cable and fiber through tax breaks and such. Either the companies open their lines and allow competition or they have to pay back all the subsidies they got when they originally promised to bring broadband to the U.S. Ten years ago.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273526)

Hmm, I guess those cities suck then. I live out in the sticks in Ohio (my neighbors are a farm, a horse farm, and another 1 acre plot) and I have the option of two cable companies, U-verse (fiber to the curb), somewhat slow DSL from many providers, or wireless broadband. All of them but the wireless ISP offer triple play options. Not to say I wouldn't like higher speeds, but other than digital VoD I can't think of many technologies that won't run over all of my available options.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274604)

Hmm, I guess those cities suck then.

No more than your reading comprehension, Buckeye. He said that he can't get a single component of a triple play package.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (1)

AnomaliesAndrew (908394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275826)

I live an hour and a half drive from Philly, near Reading, PA, and we have Comcast cable modem or DSL from some local telephone company. Somehow the phone company has a monopoly on that even here... as we can't get Verizon or any other providers in our town or any other neighboring town (except maybe for long distance service, but it's still really going through the local company.) Could it be so that Verizon was not interested in our money?

I love paying Comcast $150/mo for service that they feel they can arbitrarily restrict or disconnect me from.

An hour and a half outside of Philly and no options, and policies that harm the consumer... that's pretty lame for what America was supposed to be like. In terms of suburban/rural population densities, I believe the mid-Atlantic region is noteworthy.

These runaway money-devouring companies are not to be trusted, and we should not expect them to improve their services except when they absolutely have to, to improve or protect their bottom line. Absent competition, there's certainly little pressure there.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273554)

Either the companies open their lines and allow competition or they have to pay back all the subsidies they got when they originally promised to bring broadband to the U.S. Ten years ago.

Now that is the best thing I've read in long time!

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273576)

The lack of competition issue really irritates me. Where I live, I have a choice between Comcast and Windstream. I refuse to use Comcast because it's more expensive and they choke bandwidth. Windstream's customer service is severely lacking in comparison though and it's also over priced. If I didn't live in an apartment I would definitely switch to satellite.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (1)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274444)

Their take per customer has gone up 11.4% compared to the going 9.5% (headline) inflation rate. That's pretty impressive growth.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (1)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274594)

Assuming that the "only solution" is government interference is kind of fatalistic.

What makes you believe that the current situation will never change? Or that through government interference it will change more quickly?

My guess is half a decade ago you didn't even have the Verizon option. Why do you think the situation will be utterly stagnant 5, 10 years on?

I'm all for the greedy fucks giving back the money they stole from us via Congress, but the market's changing faster and in more unexpected ways than Congress can ever possibly mandate.

10's of millions of people are underserved by high tech. The guys who create the best way to do that will become rich beyond their wildest dreams. That's powerful incentive right there.

Re:Lack of competition is the biggest reason (3, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275344)

Why do some of us think the current situation will never change? Economics: It is economically unfeasible for anyone to run extra lines to every house, get their own link to the Internet backbone, and start up as a competitor to the current telcos. And that is what it would take for a new competitor to enter the market.

On the occasional small-scale this isn't always true: A mid-sized town could wire themselves if they wanted to. Note that this is local government doing the job at that point.

The US telecom/television/broadband market is in free-market monopoly status, with the barrier to entry enforced by both government regulation and the sheer size of the initial install. Ask any economics professor; once a market hits that status it takes either government intervention or a major technological change to break out of it.

There is one chance of a major technological change: Wireless Internet access is starting to spread, and may reach equal speeds. But at this point you either have to have the government break the monopoly or hope the cellular companies do a better job soon.

No broadband (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273424)

It's quite obvius that ITIF does not have broadband, I'm downloading the PDF-file at 1.5 Kbps.....

Apples & oranges (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273436)

You can't compare a country, say as Korea, to a country, say as the US in terms of broadband deployment. The physical size of Korea, which would fit in the state of California? If the land mass of the USA were the size of Japan, then yes, broadband would penetrate better.

Re:Apples & oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273478)

Then how come your big cities still fall very far behind in broadband availability, speed and price?

Re:Apples & oranges (1)

TheGreek (2403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274006)

Then how come your big cities still fall very far behind in broadband availability, speed and price?
Because the same companies that serve the big cities also serve the areas that aren't big cities.

Re:Apples & oranges (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274510)

That's largely because the big phone companies don't roll out technology one town at a time. There are a few reasons for that, too. Their first-level technical offices tend to take care of several phone company physical plants remotely. That means they like to have somewhat similar equipment for them to manage from place to place. They buy the equipment in large batches, so bunches of towns get upgraded at once due to that.

There are other reasons for the slower speeds, too. The bigger cities themselves tend to have plenty of connectivity within the city, but to have decent Internet access they have to have huge amounts of bandwidth upstream. To connect and turn up fiber from LA to Seattle, Seattle to Denver, Denver to Kansas City, Kansas City to Chicago, Chicago to DC, and DC to New York is a little more expensive than to run fiber from, say, Sendai to Kagoshima. The connections also have to get down to Dallas, Miami, and about 30,000 incorporated cities besides. Much of the bandwidth into and out of major hub cities is used to piggyback these smaller cities because the telecom networks are more a mesh-joined group of stars rather than a full mesh.

Springfield, Illinois (a town of about 115,000 people which is the state capital), for example, has a downtown fiber ring for 100Mbit access which it is fairly inexpensive to lease access. In order to route anywhere else, though, someone has to buy bandwidth on a line running to a peering point in Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, or more distant points. The closest any of those cities are is 98 miles (158km) by highway.

People in the Chicago suburbs, by contrast, can get fiber to the home and many have been able to for a few years. The plan one person I know had in 2004 was 18Mb down, 1.5Mb up, telephone service, and 93 channels of video all delivered for $99 a month. I pay $50 a month for 6Mb DSL by contrast (but many things here are cheaper than in Chicago, I assure you). Since our FTTC is supposed to be available this year, I'd hope I could get similar prices for similar service to what he got 4 years ago, if not better. A friend in Texas has 26Mb down and 4Mb up for well under $100 a month. That sounds pretty sweet to me, although I know people in some other countries pay less for more.

Re:Apples & oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273534)

You can't compare a country, say as Korea, to a country, say as the US in terms of broadband deployment. The physical size of Korea, which would fit in the state of California?
If the land mass of the USA were the size of Japan, then yes, broadband would penetrate better.
You can if you factor in things like population density, urban versus rural demographics, land size, etc. If you read the report, this is not a reactionary comparison (oh look, the U.S. is leading in broadband because we have more people!), but a real analysis.

Re:Apples & oranges (2, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273660)

Well, look at Canada then. From the report:

Canada has a population density of only 3 people per square kilometer (as compared to 31 in the United States). Yet, the majority of its citizens are clustered in the major metropolitan centers of Vancouver in the west, Toronto in the Midwest, and Ottawa and Montreal in the east, with the percentage of urban population nearly equal to the United States (80 percent versus 81 percent, respectively). At the end of 2006 the country's broadband penetration reached nearly 100 percent in urban areas and 78 percent in rural areas.
So, our percentage of urban and rural are the same, but the rural is way less dense. Yet 78% of the rural is broadband enabled, and Canada is a larger country than the US.

Re:Apples & oranges (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273898)

It's not that clear that the rural population in Canada is less dense. Overall it is, but there are big chunks of Canada that are essentially empty. Big chunks of the American West are also empty, but they are not as big or as empty as the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The provinces all have big empty zones to.

Also, ~75% of the Canadian population lives with 100 miles of the US border.

The proper comparison is subscribers per infrastructure dollar(or infrastructure dollars per subscriber). The U.S. and Canada are probably pretty similar along those lines, but Canada probably has more citizen friendly regulation.

Re:Apples & oranges (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273702)

The problem is that commercial companies are providing broadband, and providing it to an outlying community with a small population and long cable distances isn't profitable.

If you have government or a non profit providing it, the cables are actually cheaper per mile to lay out there since there's less in the way, the cost of digging up city streets is very high because of the disruption it causes. If you just dig a trench alongside an empty highway, or alongside a railroad, you don't cause much disruption and can get the work done much quicker with a lot less red tape.

Re:Apples & oranges (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273894)

You can't compare a country, say as Korea, to a country, say as the US in terms of broadband deployment.
Like others have already said: yes you can.

Who wrote the executive summary? (2, Informative)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273468)

The sharp dichotomy presented in the executive summary is just plain wrong. Sure, the two extremes exist, but I think most supporters of net neutrality regulation don't actually want the government to take over networks. The summary is as accurate as "All people in the U.S. are either knuckle-dragging Bushtards or communists."

The point of net neutrality is not to change who is running networks, it's to prevent network operators from effectively blocking or slowing down connections based on who or what the user is trying to connect to.

Look at municipal access fees aka "kickbacks" (1, Offtopic)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273482)

For example Time Warner pays 15% of their net revenue back to the city of Cary, NC as an 'access fee'. This can only be described as a kickback, a bribe in exchange for monopoly access. And it's legal.

Re:Look at municipal access fees aka "kickbacks" (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275792)

How exactly is this offtopic. It directly addresses one of the primary causes for the broadband issues.

getting slow (4, Informative)

ageforce_ (719072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273498)

Here's the ranking:
                                  Score on Specific Broadband Measures
                            Household                               Price5
                           penetration3                       (Lowest monthly
Ranking2                   (Subscribers        Speed4          price per Mbps)
                               per       (Average download    (US $ purchasing Composite Score6
               Nation       household)     speed in Mbps)       power parity)
    1    South Korea            0.93             49.5                   0.37       15.92
    2    Japan                  0.55             63.6                   0.13       15.05
    3    Finland                0.61             21.7                   0.42       12.20
    4    Netherlands            0.77              8.8                   1.90       11.77
    5    France                 0.54             17.6                   0.33       11.59
    6    Sweden                 0.54             16.8                   0.35       11.53
    7    Denmark                0.76              4.6                   1.65       11.44
    8    Iceland                0.83              6.1                   4.93       11.20
    9    Norway                 0.68              7.7                   2.74       11.05
   10    Switzerland            0.74              2.3                   3.40       10.78
   11    Canada                 0.65              7.6                   3.81       10.61
   12    Australia              0.59              1.7                   0.94       10.53
   13    United Kingdom         0.55              2.6                   1.24       10.30
   14    Luxembourg             0.56              3.1                   1.85       10.25
   15    United States          0.57              4.9                   2.83       10.25
   16    Germany                0.47              6.0                   1.10       10.17
   17    Belgium                0.57              6.3                   3.58       10.17
   18    Portugal               0.44              8.1                   1.24       10.15
   19    New Zealand            0.42              2.5                   1.05        9.68
   20    Spain                  0.49              1.2                   2.27        9.68
   21    Italy                  0.41              4.2                   1.97        9.54
   22    Austria                0.45              7.2                   4.48        9.37
   23    Ireland                0.46              2.1                   4.72        9.01
   24    Greece                 0.18              1.0                   1.41        8.26
   25    Hungary                0.29              3.3                   4.67        8.22
   26    Poland                 0.23              7.9                   6.47        7.83
   27    Czech Republic         0.30              2.0                   9.70        7.03
   28    Slovak Republic        0.22              3.5                   9.38        6.77
   29    Turkey                 0.23              2.0                  15.75        5.25
   30    Mexico                 0.20              1.1                  18.41        4.41
                   Average      0.51              9.2                   3.77       10.00

Yeah.... AND?? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273546)

The rankings (PDF) place the US 15th, this country having fallen every year since 2001.


Why is this surprising to anyone? I know a lot of people will post responses regarding net neutrality, the roles of government, policies, politics, etc.

What about just the SIZE of the US? When some new fiber cable comes out that can dramatically increase the speed, or some other sort of technology, it takes a HECK of a lot longer to deploy in the US. If Japan, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, etc. did not catch up to us AND then start passing us, I would think there would be something wrong with them.

The fact we fell to 15th is of no surprise and was to be expected. Just the timetables and costs of deployment are radically different at our scale versus the scale of a country like Japan or South Korea. Does any of those top 5 countries have to deploy fiber runs as FAR as the US does? I don't think so. Is anyone surprised that our bandwidth costs more when the costs of deploying said bandwidth are considerably higher and the total number of customers serviced for a given segment of fiber is much lower?

People complaining about how the US is falling behind in bandwidth is getting old really fast. Let's stop complaining about the speed of our networks relative to small countries who have an infinitesimal fraction of deployment costs, and rather the intelligence being applied to the policies governing it's use now.

I am a little more concerned about censorship, throttling, deliberately dropped packets, premeditated "denial of service" attacks, monitoring, and just general BULLSHIT by our Telcoms and ISP's than I am that Japanese men get 100 Mb/s download speeds in their homes and I don't.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273870)

I wonder how, price and resource related, running fiber through the US compares to running fiber across the ocean.

I still reckon that giving everyone in the US broadband would cost less than the current price per month of War.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273958)

Sweden actually have the same population per square-km as you over there in the US, so that is not a valid argument...

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274044)

These concerns (size, density, etc.) are addressed in the report, and in summary, there's more to it than that. Canada is way less dense and way bigger and has significantly better coverage, thanks in part to more enlightened policymakers.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274050)

Yes, now compare the AVERAGE bandwith in most of these other countries to the average bandwith in JUST our HIGHLY-POPULATED urban areas. You'll still see us woefully behind. The fact of the matter is, not only do we do poor on average, but our top offerings aren't even as fast as the average offerings in other countries.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274162)

Russia is MUCH larger than the USA, and its Internet access is rapidly getting better (in Moscow or Saint-Petersburg it is already better than in most of USA).

Besides, the limiting factor in Russia is backbone network - it's almost saturated during peak hours at lots of places. And the USA doesn't have shortage of backbone capacity.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (2, Informative)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274966)

What on earth are you talking about? Nobody's asking to push Fiber through the entire land area of the US. No, Alaska is not the problem. NYC and other large cities are the problem. As I have written before, fiber deployment is VERY scarce in NYC. The availability maps might show you some data points in Manhattan, but we are talking for just a few buildings out of thousands! For example, there is no FIOS in the four location I have tried to get it (for my and my boss), and we are talking about common Manhattan locations (near Union Square and near Lincoln Center), one Queens location (Long Island City) and one Brooklyn location (Bay Ridge). None of my friends in NYC can get FIOS either. In all these places until recently the only options were DSL 3/768 for $35 (which I went for in all cases) or Cable 5/384 (yeah, right, 384 upload is "broadband"?). The last few months there is a new option, ADSL 2+ from Speakeasy. It tops to 12/1 (but they quoted me lower speeds depending my distance from their DSLAM) and costs... wait for it... $180/month (+extra for voice)!

My friend who teaches at the University of Miami so lives around that area, ended up with a lousy 3/384 line for more than $50 that cannot hold connections (ssh, vnc etc) for more than a few minutes. He had to pay A LOT to get something just a little better.

So, don't give me the usual crap about the vast land area that is the US and explain to me:

-Why are urban areas still not significantly covered by fiber? The "small countries" you talk about have certainly covered their cities. After the cities are covered, there are ways to address rural areas (obviously fiber is not the most cost effectiv option there).
-Why is there no cheap ADSL2+ available everywhere there are phone lines less than 4 miles long (i.e. most parts of most cities)? In most European countries you can get the up to 24Mbit ADSL2+ for something around 30 euros a month (less or more depending the country). I wouldn't really need fiber if my DSL was 10Mbit+

Also, someone who know could tell us if what the "$200 billion broandband scandal" is true (google for the phrase to see what I am talking about). If it is true, then the fiber to the home is already paid for, just not delivered.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (2, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275144)

As a little comparison... I live in Sweden, and I recently visited my grandparents, in the little, well, village they live in, up in the north(Around 300 people spread over more than 150 km, and about 100km from the nearest city). Even with that, they have access to ADSL, between 2-24Mb/s, in that area, my grandparents having around 12Mb/s practical. I also had 3.2Mb/s bandwidth for my 3G broadband subscription in most of that area, while in Stockholm I'd have 7.2Mb/s.

Re:Yeah.... AND?? (4, Informative)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275754)

What about just the SIZE of the US? When some new fiber cable comes out that can dramatically increase the speed, or some other sort of technology, it takes a HECK of a lot longer to deploy in the US. If Japan, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, etc. did not catch up to us AND then start passing us, I would think there would be something wrong with them.
Yes, what about the size of the US? Maybe you should take the following into account:

- Most of the countries listed above the United States are European. Most states of the United States would still be dominated even if they were compared directly as smaller pieces of the US to the smaller pieces of Europe.

- The size of the country doesn't matter as much as you may think. The US is heavily urbanized which means that the network isn't as much webbed as you may think.

- The price per Mbps in the US is $2,83. How do you justify your claims when you look at Sweden, which is down at a low $0,35 per Mbps, yet is the size of Florida and only 9 million citizens? Florida has more than twice as many citizens and not even close to Sweden.

I think your nationalistic thoughts got in the way of all reasoning here.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273558)

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Hold on a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273598)

In most urban areas, the cable companies have to purchase a franchise from the city to be allowed pole rights and access to rights of way to build their infrastructure.

For cable, at least, this subsidizing you speak of doesn't seem to actually exit! The FLC charge (which has gone away, mostly) was charged by telephone companies to help subsidize million dollar build to bum-fuqed egypt in the middle of no-where land to service 5 farmers and their dogs.

Although I don't deal with broadband carriers, I happen to be in the business of building fiber based network services for people. Given the rate at which technology grows, you can't realistically put fiber builds on a 20 year return on investment, because you have to replace gear ever 3 or 4 years, due to demand going up at an incredible rate!

Our company uses a 3 year rate of return model for our business customers. It prices us out of the market for somethings, but we aren't going to go bankrupt competing with people who are trying to give away the network either. We will also be able to easily justify upgrading our systems as customer demand warrants, because they are PAYING us to do it.

The current broadband model HAS to be based on over subscription to drive the price down, but at the same time, your demanding you get every kbps of bandwidth you possible can, and how DARE those EVIL COMPANIES try and oversubscribe their service!

Some quick math: How long will it take a neighborhood of 500 homes to 'break even' on a 3 million dollar fiber extension, if you don't have to spend any other money on upgrading infrastructure for higher speeds, or even answer service calls, for that matter?

On a 3 year plan, that would be roughly $166 per month, per home JUST TO BREAK EVEN ON THE CONSTRUCTION COSTS. ($100 a month on a five year plan) That doesn't include internet support, voice support, broadcast support, truck rolls, and everything else involved.

I use a 3 or 5 year number, because they are going to have to start upgrading the equipment in the can then to keep up with the growing demand for bandwidth, as well as spend even more to upgrade their backbone links and transit provider links.

The vast majority of 'broadband subsidies' have vanished into the 'quick fix' folks who are promoting muni wifi as the 'cheap and easy' answer to affordable high speed service.

There is plenty of blame to go around, all I ask is that you put it on the right people.

US (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273648)

I find it sad that the country that invented the Internet can't place higher then 15th.

Re:US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23273864)

That country is #1 in the Internet2 charts as consolation. Nayner nayner.

Not That Much Competition (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23273918)

If you really look at it, the big three as far as broadband access in this country are Verizon, Cox, and Comcast...of the three, only Verizon has FIOS and offers speeds faster than Cox and Comcast's 12mb/s fastest package...if you have the bucks, Verizon can give you 30mb/s, twice the speed of what Cox and Comcast can give...but Comcast and Cox will tell you they are "blazingly fast"...on top of that you have companies like AT&T saying they have really fast Internet, but all they have is DSL, and anyone with an ounce of computing knowledge knows DSL isn't worth shit if you're a hard core gamer. So bottom line is it's all about the money. We can very easily have the infrastructure to have Internet speeds that rival other countries, but the bottom line is as long as we can sucker the consumer to pay $40 a month for 500kbps speeds and convince them that they are cutting edge, we won't get out of the information super tar pit.

Re:Not That Much Competition (1)

MisterBuggie (924728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274716)

Actually, you're wrong. DSL in the USA is apparently crappy, but it's the ISPs that are at fault, not the technology. In France, with a 20Mbps/1Mbps (down/up) triple play access for 30/month, I have at very most 40ms ping time to any server in the country, more often around 20ms. However, over here, it's the cable access that's crappy.

DSL is a perfectly decent technology. Not always reliable as it depends on the line length, and quality of the wiring, but the ISPs here have made serious progress on those issues, and I've seen people with 6-7km long lines still able to get several Mbps - enough for IPTV (ie: the equivalent to cable TV). So it's actually very few people who have major problems due to the technology itself (of course, there are the usual mess ups like with any other technology).

Re:Not That Much Competition (1)

Beretta Vexe (535187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275562)

I live in the middle of French sugar beet field ( Seine et Marne) and with an 60dB of attenuation on my line i got, TV, Free phone call and 3Mbps down. XKCD: DSL it's work bitch! /XKCD

Slashdotted (1)

Kifoth (980005) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274076)

Is it ironic that a report on broadband just got Slashdotted (ie. ran out of bandwidth)? :)

Anyone know of a mirror?

Re:Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274454)

Is it ironic that a report on broadband just got Slashdotted (ie. ran out of bandwidth)? :)


Anyone know of a mirror?

http://www.youshare.com/view.php?file=ExplainingBBLeadership.pdf

Re:Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274800)

Summary --

http://www.mediafire.com/?zywtzr9wmgs

Report --

http://www.mediafire.com/?2lmyb0nc2sm

Could you IMAGINE if this (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274118)

happened to our automotive, electronic or spam industry, errr wait...

Annual Broadband Shell Game (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274264)

Anyone else beginning to smell a scam? Seems every time these reports are released, it's bawling for more money from the public purse.

Wonder if ITIF is hosted in the US? (2, Funny)

person6661067 (1282442) | more than 6 years ago | (#23274450)

Cause they sure have bad bandwidth.

Sh1t (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274918)

The latest Netcraft [theos.com] on his to avoiD so as to

suicide for madam, prison for seed sale = USSA(r) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23274936)

regarding the recent so-called "suicide" by a madam in the news: if youre a dumb American (typical majority) who thinks parroting your views is freedom, while you pay taxes which fund the war and other things you may disagree with like the immoral war on drugs, you are milked for your taxes while you continue to fund big oil, and you are overlooked. Those who have (A) real information, or (B) a voice to be heard by the people and for the people, are quickly swept away The days of the lone gunman tactic are fading, its too easy for conspiracy theorists (logical intellectuals vs. coincidence theorists) to tie up loose ends. Most popular today is: 1. Suicide (forced or the result of psyop attacks) 2. Overdose of medication/recreational drugs 3. Heart attacks (induced by chemical(s) commonly used by black ops) 4. Vanishing (where did they go? Maybe Hoffa knows?) and so on Your country is tightly controlled and your freedom lost long ago. All that remains is the illusion of freedom. Be sure to google about the guy who will likely soon be extridited from Canada to the U.S. and serve 10 years to life for selling SEEDS! When nature is illegal, youre the blue dress. Freedom of speech is never offtopic!

It's the Public-Private Ties, Stupid! (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275230)

Isn't there anyone who realizes that the problem is in the monopoly rights the government continually grants the big corporations? If they were exposed to actual free market conditions, none of them would be able to sustain their business models for a minute.

Ask Canada (1)

michaelwigle (822387) | more than 6 years ago | (#23275838)

I find it interesting that the report encourages looking to other countries to see how they do it and specifically mentions several countries that are politically and/or geographically nothing like the U.S. instead of noting that Canada is ranked 11th despite being politically, economically, and geographically very similar. In fact, I would venture Canada has had to beat the odds to succeed since we have a smaller economy and many of our best and brightest get recruited to work in the U.S. (I moved to the U.S. 8 years ago).

When I left Canada my dad lived on an acerage in the middle of nowhere and had spotty dial-up access. He now has a fiber optic junction box sitting on his property and can pay for as much bandwidth as he wants and the entire area has high-speed wireless and/or cable available.

I think it's great that Canada has done so well and I think it would make sense for the U.S. policy-makers to ask their neighbors up North what the secret is.
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