America Pays More For Internet, Gets Slower Speeds, Than Other Countries

by Gerry Smith, Huffington Post

databrokers-smAmericans pay far more and get far less when it comes to the Internet than many other people around the world. But a few small towns might be changing that.

Internet users in Seoul continue to get the speediest connections at the lowest prices anywhere in the world, with speeds of one gigabit per second costing just $30 a month, according to annual report released Thursday the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. By contrast, the best speeds that consumers in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., or New York can get are half as fast and cost $300 a month.

The report looked at the cost and speed of Internet service in 24 cities in the United States and abroad. Many of the report’s findings — like the fact that broadband is faster and cheaper in several Asian cities like Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo than in American cities — are similar to findings from previous years.

But new entrants to the U.S. broadband market are starting to close the gap between America and the rest of the world.

For example, Chattanooga, Tennessee, which built the country’s first citywide gigabit-per-second Internet network in 2010, has slashed the price of its ultra-fast service from $300 a month to $70 a month. Google’s new gigabit service, Google Fiber, which is available in Kansas City, also costs $70 a month, the report found.

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