People who want to have the world’s fastest broadband connections should stay away from parts of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. They also should move to South Korea. Perhaps this is one reason why the U.S. federal government continues to press for higher speed at lower costs, not just in large cities, but across the country.
According to a new study from the Open Technology Institute, Seoul has download and upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps for the highest tier of service available. It is among the fastest in any major city in the world, and some minor ones. Speed is comparable in Hong Kong and Tokyo, as well as, oddly, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Kansas City, Kans.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Lafayette, La. So, if Americans can’t move to South Korea, they can move to several small American cities.
Where is there high-speed Internet in large U.S. cities? There isn’t any. Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., have upload and download speeds of 500 Mbps. In San Francisco, the tech capital of the world, the upload and download speeds are 200 Mbps.
The cost of broadband in the United States is, for the most part, unusually high. Based on monthly price of the fastest Internet service, the figure in Seoul is $30.30, in Tokyo $39.15 and in Hong Kong $37.41. In New York, Los Angeles and Washington, the comparable number is $299.99.
The report comments on the obvious:
Overall, the data that we have collected in the past three years demonstrates that the majority of U.S. cities surveyed lag behind their international peers, paying more money for slower Internet access.
Why should any part of the report matter? Likely because there is some correlation between Internet speed and what is readily available to users in terms of information, content, news and in particular video. If any of this is true, much of the United States is at a significant disadvantage.