Why Broadband Is Still So Expensive

What's Bad for Broadband Is Bad for Wireless
Greenstein points out that while there's essentially no price competition, there have been huge increases in speed -- true enough. But compared to much of the rest of the world, we're slowpokes.

According to Ookla, the company that runs the popular Speedtest.net website, the United States ranked 27th in broadband speeds, with an average download speed of 9.87Mbps, behind countries you'd expect to lead, such as South Korea, ranked first at 31.73Mbps, and some you wouldn't, like the tiny Aaland Islands, an archipelago in the Baltic Sea, ranked fifth at 21.95Mbps.

What's more, our consumers get are about half the speeds promised by service providers, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Greenstein's study is about wired service, but there's a lesson here that applies to the wireless world as well. Companies like Verizon and Google and AT&T are lobbying hard to stop the FCC from implementing the principles of Net neutrality in the wireless market. Indeed, they claim they wireless service should barely be regulated at all.

Before you buy that argument, look at your broadband bill and ask yourself how well weak regulation has protected broadband subscribers.

I welcome your comments, tips, and suggestions. Post them here so that all our readers can share them, or reach me at bill.snyder@sbcglobal.net.

This article, "The broadband business: A duopoly in action," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com.

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