Don't Expect S. Korean Or Japanese Broadband In The US

Just for the record, although we in the USA have every right to complain about the high price we pay for relatively slow broadband, we shouldn’t try to directly compare ourselves to Japan or any other country. The linked article is actually quite good as it discusses how the US Broadband providers are surreptitiously trying to create a two-tiered Internet, a tactic Techdirt despises. But the article makes the argument that US customers should get similar offers as “…the 100-megabit service [that are offered] in Japan for $25 month?” It turns out, this is an argument that it is easy for US carriers to defeat. Unless Americans are willing to move into densely packed cities, and live in 800 square feet (~100m.sq) apartments, we can’t make a direct comparison of the USA and Japan. Europeans, Koreas, and Japanese ALL live in far smaller countries, usually in multi-tenant buildings, and with higher population density. These factors all make it relatively cheap to provide broadband, and (importantly) relatively cheap to upgrade core networks to the latest technology. So while we lack competition in the US broadband market, and thus get less-than-optimal service, we cannot simply argue that we should get the same DSL package as a Tokyo ‘salaryman’. Click “Read More” for an example of how networks are different in other countries.

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