Wednesday, January 31, 2007

US consumers need third broadband option

What do BPL, municipal WiFi and WiMax have in common? Besides being three more acronyms inscrutable to most of the population, they also represent US consumers' best hope to get more bang for their broadband dollar.

The US is woefully behind much of the rest of the world in broadband price-performance. (According to the OECD, New Zealand, for one, is worse.) The following table demonstrates the vast disparity in megabits/second delivered per dollar in different countries.


Price Per Mbit





OECD, September 2005



OECD, September 2005



OECD, September 2005


US – cable

US – fiber




OECD, September 2005

Comcast web site, Jan 2007

Verizon web site, Jan 2007

Clearly, we in the US have a long way to go. And, let's face it, two broadband providers are not a competitive market--but an oligopoly. Now, with three vibrant competitors, maybe we have something. Four would be even better.

So, electric utilities, municipalities, advanced wireless spectrum license holders--let's get busy! Tens of millions are waiting.

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John Caddell said...

Sorry, folks, even though there aren't terribly many comments, I'm beginning to get a large percentage of comment spam, so I think I'll have to start moderating.