How Fast IS Your Broadband?
WASHINGTON, DC – The Communications Workers of America (CWA) issued a fascinating report on the average actual broadband speeds attained by users on a state by state basis. Over 70,000 users tested their broadband connections and the results were reported as statewide averages. Not surprisingly, Alaska was the slowest with a median of 545 kbps, followed by South Dakota at 825 kbps. Rhode Island was the fastest with a median of 5.011 Mbps and Kansas next at a surprising 4.167 Mbps. The national median is a mere 1.9 Mbps.The CWA estimates average speeds in Japan at 61 Mbps, France at 17 Mbps and Canada at 7 Mbps. The obvious conclusion is that the United States is far behind important international competitors.The next act in this discussion will come from the chattering class in Washington. They will pick apart the methodology of the data collection. They will claim that America is somehow different from other countries. They will discuss the higher level of facilities based competition in the US. Some of these points will be completely correct, but they will miss the fundamental point. In a world where technology and knowledge are the key competitive advantages, broadband infrastructure is going to be increasingly important to a healthy economy. And rather than focusing on why we are where we are or making excuses for our poor showing, we should look to the future by implementing policies that will incent investment in the faster broadband networks that we need for our future.