augusta free press news

US and Canada no longer the fastest for broadband

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(© peshkov – stock.adobe.com)

Despite their claims to be a world leader when it comes to technology, the United States is a distinctly mediocre performer when it comes to broadband speeds and network availability.

And nor, if the findings of a new survey are to be believed, do their northern neighbours Canada have anything to crow about either.

Both now rank outside the top ten, below countries like the UAE, South Korea, Qatar and Cyprus, The US ranks fourteenth now in terms of global speeds, whilst Canada fares even poorer, lagging 19th in the table.

Supporters of the telecom industry in the US have long blamed the country’s relatively disappointing performance in terms of broadband on its size.

But that has covered up a whole multitude of sins, with PR firms, lobbyist, consultants, and marketing departments all trying to downplay this issue.

When it is considered that China, which is even bigger, has faster average mobile download speeds than the US, it is a clear indication that something is wrong.

And, given the huge subsidies and tax breaks which have been given to the telecoms industries in both countries, the excuses are beginning to run thin.

The sad fact is that, in 2021, 44 million Americans do not have access to any broadband of any kind, whilst millions more cannot afford to pay for such services.

And that is hugely damaging to the North American economy as a whole. If there is one benefit that the pandemic brought, then it has accelerated the trend towards digitilisation.

Now, in order to survive and to prosper, a firm, and the industry it services, needs to have a web site and it needs to have an online presence and offer services via the web.

One example are the operators featured in the Canadian online casino guide listed here. They were able to prosper during the national lockdowns because they had made the necessary investment in their online presence beforehand. And they continue to do so, even whilst government restrictions have begun to ease, because they now understand that this is what their customers demand in the future.

In reality, the US and Canadian broadband industries have allowed themselves to become complacent, Enjoying virtual monopolies, the lack of effective competition means that there is no incentive to invest or to become more efficient.

Networks are not being repaired or upgraded as needed, and the regulator so far have proved toothless when it comes to enforcing government policies, which are benign in the first place.

There are a myriad reasons why fast broadband speed is critical for millions of people around the world. It makes remote working convenient, facilitates media sharing, enhances productivity, and makes video call and conference technology like Zoom and Skype much more effective.

In fact, in other parts of the world, people will refuse to move house or to change jobs unless they are guaranteed fast broadband speed in their new environment.

The sooner that the average US and Canadian user realises that they are being short-changed when it comes to broadband, the sooner there can be meaningful change and improvement.

Story by Oliver Jones