Study: US Lags Behind in Broadband Speeds

The U.S. is lagging behind other industrialized nations in the availability and use of high-speed broadband connections, according to a report released today by the Washington-based Communications Workers of America. The report, based on aggregated data from nearly 80,000 broadband users, found that the median real-time download speed in the U.S. is 1.9Mbit/sec., compared with 61Mbit/sec. in Japan, 45Mbit/sec. in South Korea, 17Mbit/sec. in France and 7Mbit/sec. in Canada.

The report is based on data collected through the speed test at, a CWA project launched last September "to help bridge the digital divide and keep America competitive by encouraging the government to adopt national policies to bring about universal, affordable high speed broadband access for all Americans, no matter where they live." The CWA is a labor union with a membership of more than 700,000 in fields such as telecommunications, media, manufacturing, health care and aviation.

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News source: PC World

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and the collective sound of "DUHHHHHH" just ran through everyone in the U.S.'s mind...
they needed a survey to get the same information you can get on the provider's website??
look at any u.s. residential provider's website and then the equivalent in other countries and we're constantly blown away. it's ridiculous how much behind we are in that!
(sorry australia )

QuarterSwede said,
The coverage area in the US is a lot larger plain and simple.

. . . as I post this on a 1.5Mbps line in Los Angeles.

Says max 8Mbit - Downloading with 900KB/s at times

looks fair to me, and, if I download slower, it's because the server I download from is far away or overloaded..

What good is a fibre optic connection, when the servers can't handle all the dudes that wanna DL from them faster than they already do, anyways ?

Yes, I know, P2P..
Warez, games, movies, porn, etc.. But, what's the corporate profit in providing you with a faster way of leeching ?
Or is there any profit in letting you SEED ?? :-)

Bottom line, even 1.5MBit/s is enough for watching most streaming videos and playing games online, right ?

One needs to remember what was the situation 5 years ago, and appreciate having broadband at all :-)

P.S. My 8Mbit BT connection is without a monthly traffic limit of any kind, and it costs 46 USD/month, for comparison purposes. That's like 4.5 hourly minimum wages.

the UK is far behind the US... i mean, the maximum speed my exchange can handle is 2mb/s over ADSL, and its supposed to be upgraded to ADSL2+ sometime soon. we have hardly any fibres in the UK... only businesses can afford them.

while BT can still rip us off for ridiculous prices on ADSL they'll never upgrade us to fibres either.

Compare the size of our rural areas to much smaller countries like Japan where everyone lives in huge cities. People in rural areas here usually have to depend on their local phone companies for access or face long distance charges, and the local outfits are usually small operations using outdated lines and equipment.

Loot at the price. In France the same TV/Internet/Phone deal is 1/3 of what you paid in US (30Euros versus $100/mo).

In Maryland, there is only 2 providers, comcast and verizon. Basic DSL (1.5-3M) is still around $40/month with both. Verizon has a cripple DSL at $20/mo (700k speed). And because of lack of competition price don't move.

I'm paying 320 SEK (46 USD) for a 100 Mb/s fiberoptic connection. That price also includes a dataplan for unlimited mobile internet (3.5 Mb/s) for use with my cellphone (3G) or laptop. No limits or fair use policies.
There's also a 24 Mb/s DSL connection available to those who don't live near a fiberoptic cable.

Sometimes it's nice to live in Sweden.

Exactly. People often forget about the time and money it takes to upgrade the cables. It's going to cost a lot more for the bigger the area you have to cover. Japan is dinky folks.

If the US is lagging behind, than Australia must be in the 'dark ages' of internet technology...

Can't even win on the mobile data front, we are competitive in global terms to the extent of our 3G/3.5G networks and adaptation speeds, yet we dont actually have any data plans that highly utilise the technology....

Well, from talking to some guys from my telco, a lot of it has to do with wiring. A ton of the underground wires are just old and anything too fast would be a waste of money because the wires can't handle it.

Thankfully my area had new fiber optics ran a few years ago. Other thing would be that in some areas, there is no competition and that gives the area telcos the leverage to keep prices high and speed low, like my area. In my area a 3Mbps line is $70 a month...ouch.

So basically, blame the telephone company's.

Its also true some of the top countries are quite small...for japan, you run one fiber optic line down a 100 ft probably have acess to a bajillion people

In regards to the US: fricking corporations are too dang cheap to open it up when some of them have the bandwidth to do so. The others, to incompetent to maintain their own equipment (Charter)!

Other countries: What is holding them back? Companies don't want to spend money or a poor infrastructure from years past that is still in place?

The companies are somewhat to blame but you have to remember the size of the U.S. It's quite a lot bigger than Japan for instance. Upgrading here costs a heck of a lot more because of the sheer square footage.

61MBit/sec in Japan?!?! Pardon my French, but are you ****ting me?? That's insane. I'd pay big money to get that kind of speed. I get 6Mbit/sec and I thought I had it made. 61Mbit/Sec, holy ****.

Then i can say that italy is quite good respect to others, here max offer is 20 Mbit/sec, but unfortunately where i live i can get max 4mbit

Heh... if you think the US lags, try Australia. Until a few months ago, the highest speed ADSL residents could get through the largest wholesaler (Telstra) was 1.5Mbps. A median speed of 1.9Mbps? We wish...

This is funny, obviously they haven't been to Australia :P we are still in the stone age when it comes to broadband and not to mention we are also overcharged for what crappy connections we do have. I'm actually glad the Au government blocked Telstra from trying to build a new high speed broadband network, I know that sounds crazy but Telstra would have complete control over it and were planning to charge outragous prices for it. Currently we got a few other companies fighting for the contract, hopefully it results in faster (and cheaper) broadband for Aussies...well I can dream can't I? :P

Croquant said,
No, they get 61 Mb/s. Where did you learn to read?

Probably the same place you learned courtesy?

tiddlie said,
With the UK probably averaging about 1mb/s....*

*Only at offpeak times, speeds may vary depending on your distance from your local exchange. Your download speed is subject to our fair use policy. etc :P

Xavien said,
I get 5mb/s in the UK and I'm about 4 miles from an exchange.

Where are you? Pennine Mountains or Shetland Isles?

Well im two miles from the exchange, im on 24meg broadband and i only get 2meg max speed. Oh and also, i live in surrey which i wouldnt call a remote place.