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. ek hornbeck

    We’re #13!

    We’re #13!

  2. taoskier

    …..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.

  3. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. are notorious for bait and switch, promising faster connections and then in reality it’s anything but-  and you’ve been made to sign a service contract to get it.

    I tried local “broadband” and it was slower than dial up. Couldn’t get them to come out and “fix” it.  You have to hand it to modern American ingenuity.  I was told that we were never getting better land phone lines out here, ever.  I use wireless dial up now.  

    Legalized Homeland Security snooperism that you (we) pay for also, because all of this data mining crap is being done by private contractors working with your phone company, which then turns around and charges you more for the privilege of selling your private information to government.

    But then think of all the people right now who can’t even afford internet service, or a kick- butt newer computer that won’t take 10 minutes to load a page, and maybe they’ve been laid off and just found out that happy pony joy, the Senate won’t extend their unemployment benefits. Or they’re just working class and they can’t afford anything but basics, anyway, and not really that.  All this modern communication is lost to them.  

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