If you’ve ever used the Internet in Seoul or Stockholm you know that Americans are getting the raw deal when it comes to Internet speeds. As most of Europe and Asia invest in high-speed, high-capacity networks, the U.S. remains mired in a substandard infrastructure that makes connectivity not only slower, but pricier for subscribers.
A recent analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked the U.S. 23rd in a measure of price per second of downloaded content. A separate survey by metrics service Ookla put U.S. download speeds at 28th worldwide.
Just like electrification in the early 20th century, high-speed Internet (or broadband) has become an indispensable part of 21st century life. Yet inadequate connectivity has put the U.S. at a disadvantage compared with places such as Sweden, Korea or Hong Kong, where subscribers enjoy download speeds up to 10 times faster than those offered in high-end plans across most of the U.S. — for half the cost.