This chart, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), makes painfully clear what we’ve been hearing for so long: Consumers in the United States pay more for slower broadband.
It sparked some strong opinions on CUB’s Facebook page. “Wow, that makes me sick,” said one CUB fan.
So why is the U.S., the inventor of the Internet, lagging when it comes to affordable and fast broadband? No. 1, the chart above is indicative of the kind of things that happen when you don’t have broadband competition. And the forecast for improvement gets cloudier now that cable/Internet giants Comcast and Time Warner aim to merge.
Not everyone sees a problem. Back in October, Time Warner, claimed the second lowest pricing in the world: “Competition is robust and growing, with American consumers enjoying meaningful choices among providers, speeds and pricing.” Our guess is the company doesn’t make such comments in a room full of customers.
Still, one analyst cautioned The New York Times against treating high-speed Internet like a horse race the U.S. has already lost. “We’re not at the starting gate, we’re not at the finish line. We’re somewhere in the middle of the race,” said Harold Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Let’s hope there’s time to improve.