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Rob Williams 09-01-2009 10:56 PM

US ranks 28th for Internet speed
Ahh, this is kind of depressing. I'm sure Canada isn't too far behind, but the USA ranks 28th in the world for overall Internet speeds, which honestly, is ridiculous. The USA is a nation rich with technology, yet the country lags seriously behind in overall Internet speed. It's an embarrassment. The numbers? The average speed in the US is 5.1Mbit/s, while Korea's average is 20.4Mbit/s and Japan's is 15.8MBit/s.

I personally have 10Mbit/s, which is pretty much the best around here for the price/performance. Anything higher doubles in price and still has limiting bandwidth caps and upload speeds (1Mbit/s upload, 20MBit/s download).,2465151.story

Merlin 09-02-2009 05:35 AM

I'm going to say that that was last year's findings. You can get 50 mbps now, I have 22 mbps and can donwload 1.4 gigs in 10-11 minutes. The new docsis 3.0 just came out, so next year the totals will change

Kougar 09-02-2009 05:15 PM

That is an interesting source for this data. The site the newspaper grabbed the statistics from is a website that runs speed tests, and the site itself exists solely to promote higher internet speeds for the US. OECD and others have published different numbers, but whatever the precise number the general fact / trends remains the same. The US is falling further behind every year. The findings for this article are from this year.

There are good reasons for some of the discrepancy, such as Japan's very dense population levels per square mile making it affordable to roll out fiber to the masses. Still, its the sad truth much of rural America is lucky to even get the choice to use a basic tier DSL service at a high cost.

I don't see DOCSIS changing anything, we had the technology with DOCSIS 1.1 to roll out much higher speed cable tiers than was offered. I'm next door to Comcast (Using TWC) and the modem I am on supports DOCSIS 1.1 / 2.0. Yet after looking at the speeds they provide they are not even using speeds that require DOCSIS 2.0 so there's no point in Time Warner rolling out 3.0 modems. For example your speed of 22mbps is supported by DOCSIS 1.1 spec, so I don't see what the big deal with about new DOCSIS specs is? DOCSIS 1.1 is supposed to give a usable 38mbits down and 9 up, 2.0 takes that to 27mbits upstream. TWC only recently upgraded my tier to 15/2mbps service, and the faster tiers they introduced are going to cost in the triple digits per month.

The potential is there for the US to be significantly higher, but not at the current costs and roll out of infrastructure. Heck, I still see 56K service being advertised during the evening news... groups like Netzero wouldn't be dumping money on commercials for the past year if they weren't getting customers from it.

Lastly, and something not really mentioned, is that the US is falling further behind. In 2007 OECD ranked the US 14th in broadband speeds, in 2008 that fell to 24th if I am reading the correct charts. If small scale fibre deployments aren't going to change the numbers then a small speed boost on cable tiers isn't going to help much either.

Rebeca 09-12-2009 03:10 AM

There are some communities here in the U.S. that are rolling out their own fiber at affordable prices, but AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast don't look kindly upon those sort of projects... and the truth is none of those big companies has taken the initiative to make a real difference regarding this issue. They waited too long to work on improvements.

They were thinking of putting fiber in Chicago some years ago. The idea sounded good:

But it never took place and I'm not sure if it ever will.

We can't trust AT&T and the rest of the gang to take care of this issue. I believe that for any real change, the government will have to do something. Recently, Google was also trying to create awareness, not just about the speed issue, but also availability. There are still areas that don't have access to decent high speed internet.

Kougar 09-12-2009 06:03 PM

Actually that's a great point Rebeca, I forgot all about that. I can't even remember which city rolled out their own municipal fibre, but they got taken to court over it by the telecos.

The big companies would rather fight municipal fiber than deploy their own, its just absurd to be honest. Plenty of other articles out there besides this one:

Of course, it could always be worse:

Rebeca 09-13-2009 08:23 PM

Haha. I had read that article before... and I've lived in a country with laughable (or depressing) internet speeds, so I know it could be much worse, but this isn't about "oh look how much better we are compared to developing countries!" So, the U.S. telecoms better get ahead of the game or I'll move to Japan. :p

gruntSNP 09-19-2009 10:28 AM

Amen to that Rebeca. I've lived in South Korea and Japan plus visited a friend in Sweden...amazing speeds.

Rebeca 09-19-2009 04:46 PM

From those three, where did you get the best speeds? And to what part of Japan did you go to? (Are you fluent in Korean and Japanese?)

Rob Williams 09-19-2009 05:02 PM

When I was in Taiwan a few months ago, I was sitting at a cafe (85c) with a friend, and since I had my laptop with me, I decided to crack it open and show him a few pictures. Little did I realize, I forgot to copy my photos to the laptop before leaving home. Luckily, there was an open WiFi connection (not the cafe's... it was a home connection), so I connected and was online within a few seconds.

What impressed me was this. This was just someone's home Internet, and although I was connected via WiFi, the connection was rock-stable... I couldn't believe it. Within seconds, I was logged into my home PC, and I downloaded all the photos I wanted to show my friend. I downloaded slowly, but it's because I was topping-out my upload speed at home.

I didn't think to test the download speed, but the fact that it was so reliable, and I managed to connect to my home PC and download images within seconds, from a PC half the earth away, was quite impressive.

gibbersome 09-19-2009 10:06 PM

Expanding on what Kougar has already stated, there are lots of dead zones (rural towns with no internet service provider willing to invest in laying fiber optic cables) in America. My friend lives in a location where Time Warner Cable would charge $50,000+ to install high speed internet at his home. He survives on dial up.

I can't wait till FIOS become ubiquitous. It's faster and cheaper than most every other option available.

xistop 09-20-2009 11:12 AM

South Korea is the spot for me. 100mbit all around, my friend has FTTH for about $35. Geographically laying fiber is much easier in Korea, a km of fiber can reach many more people then say in the US.

gibbersome 09-20-2009 08:04 PM


Originally Posted by xistop (Post 32941)
South Korea is the spot for me. 100mbit all around, my friend has FTTH for about $35. Geographically laying fiber is much easier in Korea, a km of fiber can reach many more people then say in the US.

100 Mbit = 11.9 MBytes per second.

You're kidding me, right?

xistop 09-21-2009 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by gibbersome (Post 32950)
100 Mbit = 11.9 MBytes per second.

You're kidding me, right?

Why do you find that unusual?

gruntSNP 09-22-2009 03:42 PM


Originally Posted by Rebeca (Post 32909)
From those three, where did you get the best speeds? And to what part of Japan did you go to? (Are you fluent in Korean and Japanese?)

Japan had the best speeds. Went to Tokyo and Osaka.

gibbersome 09-22-2009 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by xistop (Post 32985)
Why do you find that unusual?

Because that would be faster than anything I have seen personally. My school's computers max out at 6MB per second.

Residentially, the fastest option people have available is FIOS and that tops at 5 MB per second.

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