Cynical Synapse

Wed, 26 Aug 2009

Internet Inventor Behind the Power Curve

Filed under: Business, Congress, Customer service, Economy, Government, Life, Michigan, Technology — cynicalsynapse @ 8:55 pm

According to Yahoo News, the US is 28th in Internet speeds. Excuse me? The US developed the Internet! How can we have fallen so far behind? And that’s not the only bad news. The US rates a mere 16th in access to broadband. The data comes from a Communications Workers of America report.

Countries like South Korea, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Switzerland have faster Internet connectivity and more broadband access per capita than the US. According to the CWA, South Korea has the fastest connection with download speeds of 20.4 megabits per second (mbps). The US? Only 5.1 mbps, which is up from last year’s paltry 4.2 mbps.

The CWA also has a report on Internet connection speeds by state which has some good news for Michigan, sort of. Michigan connects at 5.3 mbps, above the national average of 5.1 mbps, but it ranks 24th out of 53 states and territories (DC, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands being the territories). Delaware is in first place. Test results show the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have the fastest Internet connections and even DC, at 10th, outperforms Michigan.

Curious, I used the speakeasy site to test my Internet connections. At work, I got results of 4.97 mbps download and .535 mbps upload. At home, which seems like a faster connection to me, I recorded results of 2.935 mbps download and .956 upload. I can’t complain; that’s consistent with the 3 mbps speed U-Verse advertises. Guess I need to upgrade to 6 mbps for an extra five bucks.

I still have to wonder, though. How could the country that invented the Internet fall so far behind in broadband and connectivity? With so many web-based applications these days, imagine how productivity would jump if the US doubled it’s connectivity? A move to just 14th would surely represent substantial economic benefit, wouldn’t it? Another example of failed government policy and lack of direction in the private sector.



  1. CS, I did not know this! Are you ever so right (of course, there’s a lot of things I don’t know). We invented it, but we let the rest of the world out run us, just as we do on so many things. Everything in our country is about stock price, not service. Maybe that’s the problem with us being 28th.

    Comment by The Old Man — Mon, 31 Aug 2009 @ 10:25 pm

    • Thanks for your comments, Old Man. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Stock price matters; everything else is ancillary.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Tue, 01 Sep 2009 @ 7:52 am

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