Broadband in the US is expensive and slow compared to many other first world countries. Don’t believe it? Check out the study released last year by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society done on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission. Rick Karr (engadget.com) delivers an excellent post with some links to further study. He solidly points his finger at and encourages government regulators.
At a time when everything seems to be difficult and many are complaining about too much regulation, Karr has made an interesting note: regulators can increase competition as well. So why isn’t there more competition?
Having lived abroad (Japan & France) I understand what Karr is talking about. He points out that America’s standard home internet connection would cost something like $6.00/month in the UK! I was even able to use video conferencing over my laptop and a basic home connection in Paris. It was a bundled service at around 20 Euros a month for TV, Internet and Phone.
While governments need to be committed to building out infrastructure to encourage business growth and keep its populace engaged and able to work, every business needs to be committed first and foremost to corporate profits. So, competition, a free and open market place, should be the best solution to engage businesses in these infrastructure projects.
Unfortunately, keeping systems that are already in place ensures profitability of those already profitable. Service providers have a stake in maintaining this governmental regulation status quo. Karr’s post shows that our lack of competition is higher rates and slower service for the users of the service.
Business leaders need to stick to America’s core values. No industry in the USA should be able to protect profits at the expense of fair competition, especially not by supporting faulty government regulations. What can you do? For starters, know more about your internet connectivity BroadbandMap.gov. Then, encourage local, state, and federal politicians to encourage competition.