The USA trails other industrialized nations in high-speed Internet access and may never catch up unless quick action is taken by public-policymakers, a report commissioned by the Communications Workers of America warns.
The median U.S. internet speed connection is 1.97 megabits per second compared to Japan’s 61 megabits per second. Other countries that have a higher speed than US are South Korea (45 megabits), France (17 megabits) and Canada (7 megabits).
Communication Workers of America president, Larry Cohen, said:
We have pathetic speeds compared to the rest of the world. People don't pay attention to the fact that the country that started the commercial Internet is falling woefully behind.
I believe it's woeful to have such low speeds in the U.S. While speed may not be a big issue now, the near future will demand it, with such things as research and entertainment industries requiring a speedy connection.
A 10-megabyte file takes about 15 seconds to download with a 5-megabit connection. Download time with a 545-kilobit connection, about the entry-level speed in many areas: almost 2.5 minutes. With 60 megabits, it takes about 0.16 seconds. With large movie files downloading this becomes especially painful, as downloading a 4.5 GB file at 5 megabit connection (the U.S. "high speed" connection), it takes 15 minutes, where as the high-speed 60 megabit connection in Japan can download the file in a mere 1.25 seconds.
Broadband speed is a function of network capacity: The more capacity you have, the more speed you can deliver. Speed, in turn, allows more and better Internet applications, such as photo sharing and video streaming. Superfast speeds are imperative for critical applications such as telemedicine.
Speed is also important for communities and districts who want to draw businesses to the area.
Cohen says it is extremely important for the policy makers to act fast to maintain the U.S.’s position in global economy, and to create more jobs.
The CWA report is based on input from 80,000 broadband users (less than 5% of respondents used dial-up). In addition to drawing comparisons with other countries, the report ranks U.S. states on median download speeds. (Upload speeds are also rated.)
The Federal Communications Commission, which oversees all broadband market considers “200 kilobits per second” as the bench mark for broadband speed. This was set 12 years ago. Today, this speed is not even recognized as broadband speed in many countries. The FCC says it is now thinking about updating its definition.
Among the states, Rhode Island has the highest speed connection which tops at 5 megabits, while the slowest is in South Dakota less than 1 megabit speed.
I hope they increase the speed of broadband; the current speed has been there for a long time. I read in a previous article that cable providers are resistant to change and content with profits generated, unless others force the issue they or the politicians won’t change the status quo.