Our Internet access is slow and expensive here in the USA. The problem is, “a few companies control access in America and it’s not in their interest to bring that fast, cheap access to us all.”
Recently, telecommunications policy expert Susan P. Crawford visited with Bill Moyers about this “digital divide” developing in American society. The link previewed below will take you to the entire enlightening conversation.
Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest — rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.
“The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,” Crawford tells Bill.
How would Faster and Cheaper Internet access affect your small business?
For the past 5+ years, the United States’ Internet speeds have not ranked higher than #15 among the worlds’ top 35 most developed countries. (Source, 1g, Six year historical time series, penetration [June 2012])
With both of our major political parties focused on getting our economy back on track, how is it that not all US citizens have Internet access, and those that do, have the 15th SLOWEST connection speeds in the world?
According to Akamai Technologies‘ Q3 2012 report, the average global Internet connection speed is 2.8 Mbps with an average global peak of 15.9 Mbps. The US has respective averages of 7.2 Mbps and 29.6 Mbps.
That sounds peachy, but South Korea’s average speed is 14.7 Mbps with an average peak at a whopping 48.8 Mbps…and that’s just one of the countries surpassing us in Internet speeds. (Source)
Want to know your connection speed? Head to http://www.speedtest.net/ to conduct your own speed test. Let us know your results in the comments!
Here in Salt Lake City, Utah using Comcast high-speed Internet, my average download speed is 14.75 Mbps and average upload speed is 4.38 Mbps. Not too awful…
We still have counties in the United States with less than 5% broadband Internet availability. How is this even possible in this day and age?!
Picture from Wikipedia.