Is North American Internet In The Slow Lane?

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It’s been twenty years since a test by developers to send information to outside networks was successful and became our beloved World Wide Web. Since that time, we’ve been using the internet to share knowledge and information about every topic under the sun.

The internet has become an integral part of millions of lives, and most of us wouldn’t know what to do without it. This may be why when it comes to internet speeds, many of us don’t bother to complain. After all, a not-so-great internet connection is better than no connection, right?

America Is Lagging Behind

According to many reports, internet speeds in the United States simply cannot compare with those overseas, many times exceeding American speeds by more than double. In fact, America barely ranks in the top 10 of fastest internet speeds, which has many asking why. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t anywhere near cut and dried.

Long-Distance Relationship

Some say that it’s the fact that so many people are spread far and wide across the country. This means more of a distance between a home and a broadband provider, which can affect speeds for some land line forms of internet. The farther away you reside from your provider, the longer it will likely take to download that video your friends have been raving about.

 Network Availability

High bandwidth usage by internet customers has also been pointed to as a reason why American internet is so collectively slow. Those who can’t seem to stop themselves from downloading numerous HD movies and music albums make it difficult for the rest of us to enjoy our connections to their fullest.

Americans Pay More for Slow Service

Sure, fast internet is available in the United States, but citizens pay more for that than they do their regular internet service. For example, Comcast offers a 100-megabit service, but it comes in at around $200 per month. But why can’t we all have the same high-speed access at affordable prices?

This has something to do with the way in which high speed internet access is perceived by organizations like the FCC. They believe that a minimum appropriate speed for all households is 4megabits per second download, and 1 Mbps for upload. This was a goal it set to achieve by 2020. In addition, the FCC said that another goal was to ensure that at least 100 million homes in the United States had the ability to download at  base speeds of 100 Mbps, and affordably.

This is certainly far behind the goals of other places like South Korea, where the government announced plans for 1GBPs fiber access for every home in 2012. Other countries like Hong Kong and The Netherlands plan to follow this. So why do the States still lag?

The Monetization Snag

Many are of the opinion that speed is being sacrificed so that internet providers can squeeze as much money as possible out of aging copper networks. But these observers say that the sooner networks can be switched to fiber optics the better. Of course, it will cost companies money to roll out new connections, but the return they see from those connections will be significant.

It’s been shown time and again that, when enough of a data allowance exists, consumers will use it. And so if high speed home networks covered the country, that speed would be used. Internet service providers could place a price on them, and consumers may likely pay, simply because the internet has become such an important ingredient in our daily lives.

This tends to point the finger back at internet service providers as to why our connections continue to be so slow. Although we are living in the 21st century, the speeds at which we are accessing the internet seem to still be stuck somewhere in the dark ages.

Author Bio: Guest author Jesse Schwarz writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to technology.  He helps consumer compare their internet service options as well as address online safety issues for children. You can also find .

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Katherine Husmith

Katherine Husmith is an Internet business analyst and business builder that publishes the Business Builder Report, distributes software and ebook publications.

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