Broadband speeds in the United States are shockingly low

Andy Abramson points us to the Speedtest Report website of the Communications Workers of America which reveals the shockingly low upload and download speeds of broadband across the nation. Granted, it is a big country filled with large open spaces where the deer and the buffalo roam. But one is still shocked especially when you know that other countries are deploying fiber networks using all their resources (private and public funds) at rates that will make your head spin. In the US, people feel they can take it easy because life’s been pretty good so far. Few people are truly alarmed when they look at the map and see that most of the country barely gets 2 Mbps for uploading. I refuse to look only at download speed because people are creating so much rich content these days and that alone requires more upload bandwidth.

Andy remarks:

Looking at the map, it almost appears that most of the nation is like a third world nation? As a matter of fact, I’d contend that SE Asian countries, that lagged for years behind the USA with regard to Broadband access, are starting to surpass us, using our own technology, designed and sold by our own companies to them, because they went all IP where there wasn’t any analog before. As a nation, we now rank 28th in overall broadband average speeds.

For those who continue to argue that low population density is to blame, explain to me why people in New York City do not have access to cheap, high-speed fiber broadband service? In Paris you can get 100 Mbps symmetrical service for under $50 per month. There are many factors that have led to this pathetic state of affairs in the US, one of which is the municipalities’ incredibly short-sighted policy of granting exclusive cable franchises and signing away their rights to wholesale access on municipal fiber networks to Internet service providers.


  1. We see average rate plans in Australia of 10 to 20 megs, routinely, and inexpensively. These plans are cheaper than your average DSL plan. Unreal.

    Until the major carriers are forced (by competition) to give good services, it just won’t happen. Bobby Vassallo – City Wireless Consulting