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America lags behind in Internet

Submitted by Ryan P.C. McQuen on November 13, 2011 – 5:38 pmNo Comment

The United States may be considered the most developed country in the world, but we’re far behind the world in terms of Internet service.

America has the highest number of unique Internet users according to the Akamai State of the Internet report. China comes in a distant second at over 75 million users, compared to the over 143 million American users. But America’s speed comes in at sixteenth in the world, less than half the speed of number one, South Korea.

You may wonder how America could be so behind, part of it has to do with a lot of Internet providers offering Internet access in a model that embraces scarcity rather than abundance. Beyond that providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon provide few services using fiber-optic technology, and those they do offer are slower than need be and put limits on monthly usage.

But maybe you are happy with your Internet service, and wonder if you should be concerned. You should be–and here’s why–the Internet is becoming more needed than ever. If you use services like Hulu, Netflix or YouTube then your Internet consumption is already high, and you could easily exceed the caps set by even the best services offered. Furthermore, technologies are relying more on the Internet, whether it be video calling in Facebook or iCloud services on iPhones and iPads, Internet usage is increasing, not decreasing.

So what can you do? There are promising projects, like Google Fiber for communities, offering free Internet that is exponentially faster than current American broadband, but as of yet it is only available in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. Support initiatives like net neutrality, and stay active on broadband petitions from sites like Do not be complacent for service that is below the norm.

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