Japanese Internet Access 32 Times Faster Than In US

Jun 25th, 2007 | By | Category: General

We’ve advocates of an open, Internet-based media environment at Podcasting News. New statistics suggest, though, that Internet access speeds in the US could become a barrier to adoption of new media like podcasts and video podcasts, and could even be a barrier to US competitiveness.

SpeedMatters.org has released a report on Internet access speed (pdf) in the US, and it shows the US to be a laggard at getting high-speed connectivity to its citizens.

According to Speed Matters’ tests, the national median download speed was 1.9 megabits per second (mbps). While 1.9 megabits once sounded fast, now it’s almost an embarassment:

  • In France, the median download speed is about 9 times as fast as in the US, 17 mbps.
  • In South Korea, the median speed is about 23 times as fast, 45 mbps.
  • In Japan, the media download speed is an amazing 32 times as fast as in the US, 61 mbps.

Speed Matters argues that the Internet speeds in the US are even worse than the report shows, because dial-up users were under-represented in their research.

It’s important to note that Speed Matters is a project of the Communications Workers of America (CDW). We’d like to see independent corroboration of their figures.

“Our nation’s current plan of allowing the market to determine who gets true high speed and who doesn’t is bad public policy,” commented CDW President Larry Cohen on the numbers.

Speed Matters advocates five principles:

  • Speed and Universality Matter for Internet Access
  • The U.S. ‚ÄúHigh Speed‚Äù Definition is Too Slow
  • A National High Speed Internet for All Policy is Critical
  • The U.S. Must Preserve an Open Internet
  • Consumer and Worker Protections Must Be Safeguarded

Speed Matters advocates for access speeds because building the infrastructure for high speed Internet creates CDW jobs. They also believe that Internet innovation is driving the creation of new jobs in general, and that this depends on a state-of-the-art Net infrastructure.

You can get stats for specific states in the US or find out more about the organization at the Speed Matters site.

More coverage at USA Today.

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  1. […] The US currently has relatively slow Internet access, with speeds less than 1/30th of Japan’s. […]

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