Sunday, January 15, 2006

Entrance to Flat World is Mountainous

Mr. Friedman talks of the flat world, where we all countries can compete with each other. Ironically, the one thing you need to enter the flat world is good broadband access, and that is quite different based on where you live.

In California, Comcast cable broadband provides top download speeds of 6 megabits a second for a little more than $50 a month. That falls well short, however, of Verizon's 15-megabit fiber-based service offered on the East Coast at about the same price. But what about the 100-megabit service in Japan for $25 month? And better, much better: Stockholm's one-gigabit service - that is, 1,000 megabits, or more than 1,300 times faster than Verizon's entry-level DSL service - for less than 100 euros, or $120, a month.
How in the hell do the Japanese get 100Mb at $25 a month? I remember being in Japan in 2000 and there internet access was way behind the US. They were a cellphone society. Now they are kicking our asses with the fixed access as well.

For all the talk about the costs of lives and treasure in the Iraq war, the largest cost may be the opportunity cost of going. The two tools the US needs to upgrade to compete in the 21st century: speedy broadband and health care for all, are not even being talked about on the national level.

Via New York Times

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.