For Fastest Internet, Try a Cabin on Edge of the World
Tiny Svalbard dwelling boasts world-class speeds
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 5, 2014 2:30 PM CDT
A dogsled team winds through a pass toward a glacier March 1, 2008 outside Longyearbyen, Norway on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.   (AP Photo/John McConnico)

(Newser) – You wouldn't think a 750-square-foot cabin on the edge of a rock near the North Pole would offer much in the way of cutting-edge technology. After all, there are more polar bears than people in the area, and the cabin doesn't even have running water. What its Norwegian village does have, however, is insanely fast Internet—some of the fastest on the planet, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bjorndalen, on the archipelago of Svalbard, gets speeds of 10 to 20 times what you'd see on Norway's mainland. So it's little surprise that Svein Nordahl, a 64-year-old tech enthusiast, has the cabin tricked out with computers with enough capacity to house 60,000 HD movies, a 10-foot-long screen, and plenty of iPads.

The state-run telecom company Telenor decided several years ago to use Svalbard as "a miniature version of mainland Norway," says its chief technology officer. The busiest town, Longyearbyen—which has a population of 2,000—was treated to fiber-optic broadband in every home in an effort to see if tossing out older technology like copper and coaxial cable would be a wise move. It was, says the company, which doesn't expect the mainland to catch up to Svalbard for another decade. Nordahl, who lives five miles from Longyearbyen, literally extended the speedy Internet to his cabin himself. Under an agreement with Telenor, he and fellow villagers dug out the ground to place the cables. As far as speedy Internet elsewhere goes, Bloomberg reported on the 20 countries with the fastest Internet speeds as of Q3 of 2013, per Akamai: Norway as a whole didn't make that list, and the US showed up as No. 13. Hong Kong was the world leader.

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Apr 6, 2014 2:25 PM CDT
Yay USA, #13! You know what else those countries above us have that we don't? Data Caps. I already can't use the internet I have, between my two kids watching Youtube and downloading games from Steam, we hit the cap limit each and every month. I'd love to stream a movie or something, like I used to do, but noooo, we will go over the cap if I don't stay on top of it every single day. I got to hand it to Comcast, we get pretty fast speeds, but its the data caps that are killing me. I'd love to be able to use the internet a little myself but I have to check how much data we've used every day before doing anything. Heck, I go nuts if I catch my boys watching anything in higher resolution than 480p because of the damn data caps. Every singe game they buy off of steam is like 15gb or more. Netflix is just a dream for us....we don't have the wiggle room under our data cap to watch any movies. Faster internet would just mean we'd hit our monthly cap in two weeks, instead of three.
Ezekiel 25:17
Apr 6, 2014 12:23 PM CDT
With the IT and communications infrastructure the US currently has and is also developing, we have a capacity for insane connectivity. But money always gets in the way as nobody wants to give that kind of service away. You can have insane service in the USA if you want it. You just don't want to pay for it.
Apr 5, 2014 10:23 PM CDT
I have Charter Communications Internet. I click on an Internet page get up get a cup of coffee, take a shower, brush my teeth., etc and when I get back the page has already loaded...... super fast downloads that permit me to take naps while browsing...