Why is broadband access and speed in the US so bad compared to other countries?

tswayne

It looks like Austin is going to join Kansas City as a city with Google Fiber (really) high speed network. Good for them. Meanwhile, I live in a city with ~300,000 people in the metropolitan area, and even though I'm located about .25 miles from the center of town, my "high speed" option is to pay AT

Topic: Internet
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jimlynch
Vote Up (18)

Too many people live in places where one monopoly or the other controls access, and there is almost no competition. In my area we are stuck Comcast or slower DSL. Yuck. So I just hold my nose and use Comcast, while waiting for a better day when I have real choices. I'll probably be waiting a long time, heh.

Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (18)

Let's rephrase your question to this: Why do broadband carriers in the U.S. get to abuse and shortchange their customers? Answer: Because they can!

The U.S. is notorious for slow and spotty Internet access. Yes, there are some areas where it's better, but generally the track record is dismal. Also, the carriers have contempt for customers. Here's one personal example:

I also live in a rural area and use Verizon DSL for my Internet access. It sucks royally. I just now tested my connection with Speedtest.net. My download speed is 0.95 Mbps and my upload speed is 0.37 Mbps. The U.S. mail is faster than that. Now, I have some faulty wire issues on my property, but Verizon has told me it's not responsible for that.

So on a couple of occasions I've asked Time Warner to come out to my house and give me an estimate for digging a trench and dropping cable. I do have a long (450 feet) gravel driveway, but the most recent estimate (from last October) of $2,884.55 strikes me as absurd. That much to dig a foot-deep trench wide enough to put down cable and conduit? I could rent a Ditch Witch and do the same thing for $100. In fact, I figured that would be a good alternative, but I wasn't sure if Time Warner would allow that. And I'm still not sure because no one has returned my calls to answer that question. I even have the name and direct number of the field check administrator (Christopher Baker); he won't return my calls.

To sum up: The broadband carriers in the U.S. hate you and me and just want to take our money. That's why Internet access is so painful in this country. I hope Google Fiber forces them to clean up their acts, but it's not going to happen overnight.

tswayne

Haha, I think that, "They hate us," is a pretty succinct explanation.  For some reason, the rest of my original post got cut off, but I complained about my unstable 2.4Gbps download speeds and the fact that I had to pay nearly $50 a month for THAT. After reading your speeds, I feel a little better. Misery loves company, I suppose!
StillADotcommer
Vote Up (13)

Part of the answer is that AT&T spent $17,430,000 on lobbying politicians in 2012 to help make sure they don't have to provide decent broadband services due to "socialist" regulations.

Comcast spend $14,750,000 last year.

Time Warner was much thriftier, and only bought $3,548,000 worth of political influence in 2012.

How much attention do you think is being paid to your voice/vote compared to that?

 

They do not care if you are happy. They do not care that America is a second world country in terms of broadband access/speed. They care that they make as much money as possible, which means spending as little as possible on infrastructure and equipment. That's why it sucks.

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