When the appointment of the current FCC Chairman was done, it looked like we might finally have someone who was going to be good for the country. Someone who, in the style of a Harry Truman, was going to “damn the torpedoes”, and go “full speed ahead”. Now it seems as though he is just another bureaucrat, more concerned with keeping his job or lining his pockets than serving the nation.
The current postponement of at least one month on the plan for broadband adoption and expansion is only one of the harbingers we have witnessed in the past few months.
Now we have, from internet giant Akamai, through a story from Maximum PC, the sad results of the broadband “expansion” of the last year.
For us in the United States it looks like being a Slowsky is about as good as it gets, regardless of what Comcast might offer otherwise. Akamai just released its State of the Internet report for the third quarter of 2009, and while the trend for many is upward on broadband speed, to the surprise of few the United States isn’t in among that group.
As technologically sophisticated as the United States is–we who invented the Internet–it only ranks 18th in terms of overall broadband speed, with an average of 3.9 Mbps, well below the top ten threshold of 4.8 Mbps, and way distant from number one South Korea’s 14.6 Mbps. That may be fast enough to stream some low bit-rate music, but it isn’t going to cut it when demand for streaming video hits its stride. While the U.S. third quarter average is higher than the second quarter by 1.8%, it is 2.4 percent slower than the third quarter of 2008.
Akamai goes on to note that only 24 percent of U.S. broadband is above 5 Mbps, with the luckiest of us, on average, living on the east coast: Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New York.
If it feels like you’re living your Internet life in the slow lane, there’s a good chance you are. And your aren’t the only one.
So the point is that we suck in so many categories – with no end in sight to the regression.
Rather than wait for the telcos or the cablecos to bring the speed, we need to have cities take on the project, as a way to develop jobs, create growth, and bring in revenue to the cities served by the municipal broadband provisions. Set up the system so that costs are kept low, and a certain percentage is made the limit, with any extra profits rebated to the customers or used (but not counted on) to remove other budget deficits. With cities of over 50,000 population acting as their own ISPs the buck could not have far to travel when problems develop. Also, if the big ISPs want to compete, let them, with the back up for the customer, and for the nation, of that municipal redundancy.
Get ready to adopt this as the new screen message in your browser – the equivalent of the Windows hourglass…
As long as the sheeple prevail, we won’t see major change on the broadband front, or anywhere else.