Americans pay some of the highest prices for both fixed and mobile broadband, but what are we getting for our money? Not the fastest speeds, according to a report by TechDirt.
The publication said America’s broadband networks are “routinely mediocre” when it comes to speed and availability, and this week dropped out of the top 10 nations in terms of average broadband speeds, according to data from Speedtest.net’s Global Index.
The U.S. is now ranked number 11, behind Macau, Denmark, and Sweden, and is 33rd in average mobile download speeds (43.7 Mbps). Speedtest data shows that similarly sized countries like China (84.9 Mbps), Canada (73.52 Mbps), and Australia (62.15 Mbps) all rank in the top 10 for mobile data. In addition, 44 million Americans lack access to broadband, and millions can’t afford services, reported TechDirt.
The problem stems from monopolies that dominate the telecommunications marketplace, noted TechDirt. These same companies influence state and federal lawmakers, plus regulators, and “dictate most U.S. telecom policies.” The account also mentioned that in the U.S., geographic issues and the size of the nation rank among the top challenges with deploying infrastructure. However, millions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies have been given to telecoms over several decades.