U.S. Falls From Internet Elite, Aims to Catch Iceland, Hungary

By Todd Shields and Matthew Campbell, Bloomberg Businessweek

June 02, 2010, 12:30 AM EDT

June 2 (Bloomberg) — Laurent Bernard, an intern at HSBC Holdings Plc in Paris, recalls his U.S. Internet experience in 2008, the year he moved to New York City as a student.

“I noticed right away that the Internet was slower,” Bernard, 24, said in an e-mail. “The most annoying thing was the time it took for each Web page to load on the screen. In France, it’s pretty much instantaneous.”

After ranking third in the world a decade ago, the U.S. has dropped to 15th in the proportion of citizens receiving fast Web service, or broadband, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. South Korea, Iceland and Germany are among the countries that ranked higher in 2009, the Paris-based group says. Connections were both faster and cheaper in 12 countries, including Hungary and Denmark.


  1. We’re #13!

    We’re #13!

  2. …..well developed mass transit and media/communications at relatively cheap levels compared to the U.S.

    I live in a semi-rural area; to have what the French guy has I would have to pay probably $175-$200/month and the internet would be slower.

    Basically the US consumer is being looted by congress and the telco industry.

                                Legalized gangsterism.

    Seven providers vie over the single line into his home west of Paris, where Reynolds pays 30 euros a month, or about $37, for unlimited phone, 150 television channels and Internet downloads at 20 megabits a second.

    In the U.S., where competitors lay their own lines to homes, the average broadband download speed is 4 megabits per second, according to the FCC. Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable operator, charges at least $130 for unlimited U.S. phone calls, more than 200 video channels and speeds of 12 megabits a second in its home market of Philadelphia.

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