Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 24th Jan 2013 10:12 UTC
Internet & Networking In the past, OS News has discussed how U.S. broadband access lags many other countries in terms of cost, speed, and availability. Now, this detailed report from the New America Foundation tells why. It all comes down to a lack of competition among the carriers, which can be traced back to the days when cable companies were granted local monopolies. The report argues that " caps... are hardly a necessity. Rather, they are motivated by a desire to further increase revenues from existing subscribers and protect legacy services such as cable television from competing Internet services." The report's conclusion: don't expect improvements without legislative action.
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In France, the average ADSL (up to 20Mbps) + VoIP + TV package is at around €30, and if you live in the right place you can get an FTTB (up to 100Mbps) + VoIP + TV package from Numericable for around €35.

VoIP services typically include landline calls, and then you are charged an extra if you call a mobile phone or special number with them. On its side, TV service typically includes a few basic programs, and then you pay an extra if you want to watch the most popular channels.

The main trick, as hinted above already, is that everyone pays about the same price, but not everyone gets the same service. ADSL is particularly sensitive to phone line quality, so bitrates and latencies vary a lot from one home to another, even within the same district. And while fiber is much more reliable, it is only available in few areas at the moment. Probably because only one operator (Numericable) is seriously working on it, while the others spend more time fighting each other than actually building up their networks.

Still, even with that being considered, I still feel horribly afraid when I look at the price of telecom services in Canada. I probably won't escape those since my girlfriend wants to move there for her studies, but boy... where do you American people find all the money that goes in your cellphone and internet bills ?

Edited 2013-01-28 17:55 UTC

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