US Internet Speed Is a Joke

Susan Crawford finds lack of a fiber-optic upgrade plan 'embarrassing'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2012 1:52 PM CST

(Newser) – The real threat to US Internet isn't foreign intervention—it's that it currently sucks. Cable companies have kept access limited, expensive, and relatively slow by global standards, complains Susan Crawford at Wired. Roughly a third of Americans don't have broadband access, and for about 19 million who live in rural areas, it's not available at any price, because cable companies refuse to expand there. The FCC, which is supposed to ensure reasonably-priced communications access for all has "failed in that task," Crawford writes.

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"Yet we're moving in the opposite direction," with telecoms focusing on wireless, and refusing government subsidies to service rural areas. Cable companies "face no real competition or pricing pressure," and we still have no national plan to switch to fiber-optic cables. Everyone in America should be able to get fast internet, voice, data, and basic cable for $30 a month, and if private companies won't step up, the government should. "It's embarrassing that one of the most innovative nations in the world can't do this." Read the full column here. (Read more Internet stories.)

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