High Speed Broadband At Lower Prices
Fast broadband connections in the US seem to come with a very high price tag while in Asia much faster connections come at a much lower price tag for home broadband connections. Recent reports from Asia seem to show that providing speeds far in excess of what people can currently use appears to be a goal for the next few years there.
In Asia, they seem to see the value of providing fast broadband connection to the home. As an example, in Japan, the vast majority of the country has 100 Mbps and they are now starting to roll out 1 gigabit per second for a cost of about $72 per month. The company involved is willing to take a loss for a time until they roll out the faster speeds to larger areas. In South Korea, they have plans by the end of 2012, to have each and every home in the country connected at gigabit speeds. The current costs for those who are already connected at those speeds is about $27 per month. In Hong Kong, a company is rolling out fiber to the homes there for about $26 per month. These are examples of advances in Asia that should also be seen in the US and elsewhere.
It is heard from broadband providers in the US that the higher speeds are not taken advantage of by people so there must not be that much interest. The fallacy in that is the price tag. People are not going to be willing to pay $200 or $300 per month for extremely fast speeds that do not even approach 1 gigabit speeds. There is a cost benefit associated with that and it is very difficult for many to afford the current costs being quoted for fast speeds. If the cost of a broadband connection was in line with prices in Asia and much higher speeds, you would be seeing the vast majority of the US population having speeds in excess of 100 Mbps at a price less than $20 per month. The current barrier appears to be those providing the services.
Various companies list their supposedly fast broadband speeds, but they are not really that fast as compared to other countries. Take for instance, Verizon, who has package deals and shows the fastest speed on their site as 50 Mbps. AT&T is showing 6 Mbps as on their web site and Comcast shows 16 Mbps. These are far less than the 100 Mbps being offered in Japan.
Google has taken on the task of installing fiber to a city to be chosen where they will be installing fiber to all the homes with some limitations. They are taking this on to show that it can be done and hopefully encourage other companies to do the same thing. If Google can successfully do this and have it reasonably priced, it will demonstrate a can do attitude that other companies can and should do this.
The US used to be considered a leader in technology and it appears that we have lost much of that role as other countries are now showing us fast broadband connections can be provided at lower prices.