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Americans pay more for slower Internet

Americans pay more for slower Internet
photo courtesy of shutterstock

What would you do if you found out your neighbor was getting Internet that was four times as fast, but was paying much less to get it? You'd want to switch, right?

It's no secret that Americans have the slowest speeds and the poorest customer service when it comes to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). I know you've heard about all the Comcast debacles in the customer service department.

Unfortunately for us here in the U.S., switching to another provider won't necessarily get you better speeds. In fact, if you want better speeds, there are two places in the world that have the blazing-fast Internet you want.

Sadly, you'll have to move to Asia if you're really dedicated to getting super-fast Internet speeds for a decent price. Check out the graphs below, the data doesn't lie. We really need to do something about our sub-par connectivity.

The first graph shows the download speed in Megabytes per second (Mbps) for $50 around the world. Yellow represents Asian cities, green represents Europe, and blue represents North America. It's quite obvious that $50 of Internet connectivity in Hong Kong goes 10 times further than $50 in New York.

fig7_DLSpeed_for50.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge

The second graph below illustrates the cost per city of 25Mbps. Guess who's paying more for less? While America doesn't occupy the bottom slot ($110 for 25 Mbps) we still can't stack up to Asian and European countries in terms of speed or price.

fig8_estCost_25Mbps.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge

All images are courtesy of “Cost of Connectivity.”

Researchers aren't very optimistic about where American stands in the connectivity race.

"Now in its third year, the annual “Cost of Connectivity” survey is just one of a number of studies that compare different aspects of the global broadband market. Some, like Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report, measure actual speeds delivered in countries all over the world. The United States doesn’t crack the top 10 in the Akamai rankings, either, delivering an average connection speed of 11.4 Mbps (compared with South Korea, which tops the charts at 24.6 Mbps). Others, like the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s broadband portal, compare various price “baskets” in the 34 OECD countries. For speeds of 15 Mbps and above, the U.S. ranks 26th overall. Taken together, it’s clear that while speeds and prices in the U.S. are improving overall, we aren’t necessarily matching the pace of peer countries on these metrics."

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Source: Slate
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