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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Science & Technology | 4 comments

Broadband Competition and Service: US versus Europe

The internet is not a toy, it is a strategic infrastructure. It may have at one time been envisioned as a defense strategic infrastructure, but today it nurtures global business and connection.

Why, then, does the U.S. have such lousy broadband when we look at our European neighbors? Or Japan? Or South Korea?

One reason is the geographic scale: those countries are sized more like one of our states. But another, perhaps even more compelling reason, is government policy. Just ask North Carolina citizens who are arguing that municipalities should be able to provide the service, just like munis supply power and water.

Need to Know correspondent Rick Karr traveled to the U.K. and the Netherlands – with support from the Ford Foundation and in collaboration with the website Engadget – to find out how these two countries have jumped ahead of us online. – PBS

Fiber Optic Cable

Click The Image To Watch The Story At PBS

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  • DLS

    Certainly the Internet is much greater than the Global Positioning System (GPS), more broad, more fundamental to everyday life in practice.

    What else you’re trying to expose us to is based upon the same mentality revealed by my question to accompany yours on another thread, Kathy:

    “What kind of country do we want?”

    I.e., what liberals really mean,

    “What kind of [federal] government do we want?”

    It’s actually less important (and I believe is lost on many readers here) to consider having such a thing as the Internet not merely seen as falling under the “regulated monopoly” utility model, but truly being “affected with a public interest” as well as obviously being viewed as a “public utility.”

  • Certainly communities can do as they wish. I don’t such much to get excited about either way.

    Just don’t get me started on net neutrality.

  • ShannonLeee

    I do have shockingly fast access of here in Germany…more than I’ll ever need for my home. That being said… I had fiber running straight to my doorstep in Los Angeles.

  • Hi, DLS – clearly you did not watch the video. No gov’t money was used in Holland to lay that fiber.

    ProfElwood – in my mind, you can’t separate the two because of the way the industry is structured in the US. We have a vertically integrated hands-off infrastructure (fiber and cable) that is not “uncoupled” like the UK and Holland (the two examples here). People in London can get both high speed internet and phone for about $12/month. British Telecom initially fought the competition, too, but now supports it. And AT&T/Verizon … SUPPORT the system in the UK but oppose it violently in the US.

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