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:
The test results demonstrate the critical need for the U.S. to adopt a comprehensive national broadband policy. As a first step, the Senate should pass the Broadband Data Improvement Act (S.1492), a crucial piece of legislation that will help our nation determine which parts of the country have high-speed access and which do not. The bill would also provide funding to states to increase broadband deployment and adoption.
Write your Senators and tell them you strongly support this bill:
The House of Representatives passed similar legislation last fall. Itâ€™s long past time for the Senate to act. The Broadband Data Improvement Act will provide the research and the funding to help make sure every American has affordable, high-speed Internet access. With an already struggling economy, we canâ€™t afford to continue falling behind in high speed broadband.
We need your help in the critical effort. Write a note to your Senators now: