Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 27th Jul 2012 02:57 UTC
Internet & Networking A free, new report from the New America Foundation compares cost, speed, and availabilty of internet connectivity in 22 cities around the world. The report concludes that U.S. consumers face comparatively high, rising connectivity costs, even while the majority have very limited choices -- often only one or two providers. The report argues that U.S. broadband policies need to change, otherwise consumer choice will continue to deteriorate.
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LighthouseJ
Member since:
2009-06-18

This topic usually comes up on the Internet in order to belittle the US when compared to other countries.

Why are maximum speeds to residential customers really important?
It's like being obsessed with having the car with the most horsepower. When are you, the car owner, ever going to need all of that top speed? If you won't (and you're like most of us), then perhaps it would be better spending money on a car with more torque, if you like that, better handling, more features, etc...

I wish the article had been focused the price to get broadband access (per FCC FTA) around the world so as to raise awareness about getting poorer peoples on-line.

I also wish the article spent more time noting that few large companies are rounding up all of the resources.

Reply Score: 1

OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Why are maximum speeds to residential customers really important?
It's like being obsessed with having the car with the most horsepower. When are you, the car owner, ever going to need all of that top speed? If you won't (and you're like most of us), then perhaps it would be better spending money on a car with more torque, if you like that, better handling, more features, etc...
.


Why are speeds important? That's easy. I have a teenage son is that usually watching Youtube videos, playing games, listening to music, etc... You know, stuff that does take up a bit of bandwidth. Meanwhile, if my wife and I want to watch a movie over Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Now, if my son is hogging up even half of the small amount of bandwidth that is even offered to me, then my wife and I can't watch Netflix or Amazon Instant Video - the quality would be way too crappy. If we were living in a larger city, then that wouldn't be a problem, as we'd have much more options. But as it stands now, we have no options and it sucks. Our one and only ISP isn't going to change in the foreseeable future.

Reply Parent Score: 6

cpuobsessed Member since:
2009-06-09

I'm not even two miles from the closest city (about 40 miles east of Lexington,KY) and have no options other than dialup or sattelite. ATT have said "oh we're expanding coverage all the time", yeah right, they've said since I moved here in 2003. Guess what, still no DSL for me; neighbor has it and the fastest speed he can have is 3Mbit. They have no plans to increase coverage or reliability because we're out here and not in a populated area like Lexington or even Winchester. It's really disgusting because as we move forward it will become more and more necessary to have internet access. Not just for entertainment but job searches, education, news, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 2

LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

I have a teenage son is that usually watching Youtube videos, playing games, listening to music, etc... You know, stuff that does take up a bit of bandwidth. Meanwhile, if my wife and I want to watch a movie over Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Now, if my son is hogging up even half of the small amount of bandwidth that is even offered to me, then my wife and I can't watch Netflix or Amazon Instant Video - the quality would be way too crappy. If we were living in a larger city, then that wouldn't be a problem, as we'd have much more options. But as it stands now, we have no options and it sucks. Our one and only ISP isn't going to change in the foreseeable future.


First of all, I think your embellishing what your family is actually doing at any one time, but somehow you think that is an adequate rebuttal. I think you're pretending everyone does every activity simultaneously.

Second, my reply was about the fastest observable speeds in an area like a near major city (that other people won't be able to benefit) as representative of the whole. I was saying who cares about that maximum speed in the nearest city? There are more interesting and alarming metrics like what I mentioned about what's going on in your neighborhood, and in your case of being in a remote area and having to pay more bucks for still slower speeds.

Reply Parent Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Why are maximum speeds to residential customers really important?
It's like being obsessed with having the car with the most horsepower. When are you, the car owner, ever going to need all of that top speed?


And do you use anything faster than a Pentium III, more than 128mb ram, and larger than a 10gb HD?

Just curious... and if you do, why?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Not a fair comparison. All operating systems commercially available require faster parts than those you listed. So all users need to use faster parts. Unlike motorists needing 300+ Hp.

Right now on 6mb dsl, I can stream two shows in HD while two users actively surf the web at normal speed. Some people might need greater speed, but not everyone does at this point.

Reply Parent Score: 2

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Dunno why this got downvoted so much. It's not clear to me that fast residential speeds are that important. I have a few handkerchiefs to lend to those poor souls who can't watch Netflix while their children torrent the latest episode of Gilmore Girls and stream YouTube.

On the other hand, as a principle, innovation occurs when there is opportunity. Imagine if when you grew up there was no practical difference between a SATA connection and an Internet connection. What would you have come up with, how might you have hacked differently? Instead of becoming a _______ developer, who might you be today?

On the other other hand, the absurdity of software patents shows that invention in software does not require the same kind of investment in resources that other fields do. That is why I am skeptical about the necessity of ultra-broadband. Rolling out a 500 KB/s to rural America would be enough. (Besides, for all the hype about South Korea's broadband saturation, they still have a rather insular intranet, and as far as I can tell the U.S. still leads the way in terms of creating important web apps.)

Reply Parent Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Dunno why this got downvoted so much. It's not clear to me that fast residential speeds are that important. I have a few handkerchiefs to lend to those poor souls who can't watch Netflix while their children torrent the latest episode of Gilmore Girls and stream YouTube.


Agree. There are plenty of modern routers that allow you to explicitly throttle the bandwidth of specific IP addresses. Use static IP assignments. Nobody should be allowed to monopolize the entire pipe.

Reply Parent Score: 1