U.S. #58 out of 90 in broadband cost

Stacey Higginbotham wrote for GigaOm 16 January 2014, Two charts that show how crappy U.S. broadband is,

Despite the deployments of a few gigabit networks by Google and the spread of faster cable technology, U.S. broadband is falling behind. It’s expensive both as a monthly bill and on a per-megabit basis when compared to the rest of the world. For example, at $89 per month on average, U.S. residents pay more for broadband than residents in 57 other countries including Canada, Bulgaria, Colombia and the U.K. That’s right, the U.S. ranks 58 out of 90 countries.

The research, from research firm Point Topic concludes that the higher broadband prices are “caused by lower investment in infrastructure as well as lower take-up which prevents them from benefiting from economies of scale.” To get the above data the firm compared the prices paid for residential broadband and includes standalone and bundled services offered over DSL, fiber and cable broadband in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Per-country comparisons like this are hard to act on, but even at the country level we know many things not to do, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would make it even easier for the telco and cableco incumbents to keep gouging us for inferior product. Susan Crawford has previously pointed out some other things we can do.

Point Topic does have some more detail, such as that DSL is the most expensive way to provide Internet service.

We already know that rural broadband adoption improves rural economic health. That’s causality. And we also know Broadband fiber correlates with increased house prices.

We could do something about that, such as try to attract Google Fiber, which caused AT&T to suddenly discover how to do high speed Internet in Austin, Texas. Or propose to do metropolitan-area 4G LTE, which might get VZ and T off their duffs for affordable pricing.

Oh, wait, I forgot: “We have broadband,” asserted County Chairman Bill Slaughter. So it’s OK to be an Internet backwater in a country that’s #58 out of 90 in broadband cost. All righty, then.