Where do you turn when you need objective assessment of the state of broadband connections in the US? Not the New York Times, apparently. Dslreports.com, by far the greatest resource in the US on evaluating your own broadband connection and determining how much value you are getting from your broadband provider does a much better job of reporting on the state of broadband connections for consumers and the state of affairs in the telecommunications industry in general than the New York Times.
In other words, if you take away the most impressive broadband countries, then dismiss our still mediocre showing as a product of geography (which doesn’t explain our record on poor urban deployment, or the successes of say, Canada), the U.S. looks pretty good. With availability and speed issues solved, that leaves just high US broadband prices left to dismiss, which Hansell apparently can’t. “On prices, unlike speeds, those tantalizing reports from overseas are correct,” he says.
Like in France, where users can get 100Mbps/50Mbps fiber service, VoIP and IPTV for $40 a month — in large part because the country took our now-scrapped attempt at local-loop unbundling and made it work. Fiber carriers who were sharing the access lines of local incumbents are now building their own networks, which resulted in strong facilities-based competition and lower prices thanks to — get ready — regulation. Which brings us back to our first sentence, and a larger point we’d be interested to see Hansell engage.
It would seem, then, that we can count on the New York Times to deliver the same sort of hard hitting journalism it delivered in the buildup to the Iraq war in 2003.
So, yes, the bottom line from the New York Times is be happy that you are paying too much for mediocre broadband service. You’re better off than Mexico, and, sure, you may be worse off than the French, but at least you don’t have to worry about that pesky regulation that guarantees your rights and the sort of regulation that makes corporations compete for your money.
The New York Times commends you for being an American. Your life is better without regulation. Being ripped off by corporations against which you are powerless is the only privilege that you have as an American. You eschew it at your own peril.