SpeedMatters.org recently concluded a survey exemplifying the embarrassing brick wall (likely agreed upon by telco and cable monopolists and duopolists) keeping out broadband Internet speeds at low levels relative to the rest of the world. At 2.3Mbps average download speeds, last mile connectivity has only inched up in the past year, according to the report (PDF), and it would be decades before we experienced the speeds and functionality experienced by internet users in Japan, who connect at over 60Mbps.
Evident in the unscientific studies is the sharp increase in business districts in which connectivity is often an expensive T1 connection, as opposed to publicly available high speed broadband (which here in LA, is mainly limited to AT&T and Comcast, although competitors such as Speakeasy are able to offer better service at slightly higher rates). California ranks 25th in SpeedMatters’ survey of median download speeds. how does your state rank?
I’ve documented the U.S.’s position on broadband ubiquity and connectivity many times, as well as it’s position in relation to other OECD countries throughout here and here. I first profiled SpeedMatters.org (a project of the Communications Workers of America union) here and encourage everyone to participate in their call to action:
Currently on the I-5 headed toward San Diego (I’m in the back seat of Mike Prasad’s car) and my USBConnect 881 is cooking up series speed via AT&T’s 3G wi-fi network. No need for Time Warner crap cable service if I had this kind of 3G reception at home. 2.8Mbps download vs. 1Mbps upload. Nice!
The OECD Broadband Portal has been updated to reflect data as of June 2007. The enhanced and increased data makes the U.S. look a little better but U.S. high speed internet penetration remains in the bottom quarter of the 32 OECD countries, as it has since it’s ranking dropped 25 percent earlier this year. The U.S. is on par with the OECD average, however, when broadband penetration is calculated in terms of landmass populated by 50% of the population, perhaps a more fair measure, considering the U.S. does 30% of broadband subscribers in the OECD survey, but also covers a vast and sparsely populated area.
The strongest per-capita subscriber growth over the year was in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Luxembourg. Each country added more than 5 subscribers per 100 inhabitants during the past year…. Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea and Norway and Iceland lead the OECD in broadband penetration, each with over 29 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.
Thank the Communications Workers of America for lobbying for high-speed Internet access via the SpeedMatters Web site. After months of collecting data from thousands of visitors to their Speed Test tool, the CWA today published an interactive (also PDF) state by state and even county by country analysis of average speed test results based on their (moderately small) data samples.
Bottom line — the InterTubes are molasses-slow. The below is a screenshot of the SF county data…