Just a speed test & some thoughts on internet access in the USA

Netflix internet streaming is finally good. I watched a movie two nights ago and it streamed to Super HD within in a couple of seconds. It stayed nice and swell for the entire thing too. Today I decided to see how much an internet upgrade would cost me. After trying to do it myself online with Verizon I hit an error where it wouldn’t let me do an internet-only plan without a bundle. So a couple of minutes in a chat later I get some idea of pricing for me as a current customer. I currently play $69.99/mo for 50/50 internet access. Today I upgraded to 75/75 internet:

Always good to see they give me more. Just for confusions sake I have a number of discounts onto my account which I always find funny. Here’s a breakdown:

$74.99 until 2015-02-10
$84.99 until 2015-08-21
$89.99 until 2016-07-20
$94.99 after that

I tried to negotiate a bit to see about keeping it level but it is what it is. For fun I decided to see what 150 and 300 mbit plans look like:

$139.99 for 150mbit service
$209.99 for 300mbit service

Now, that is quite a lot of money. For comparison, here’s some winners in this space in the US and abroad:

$70 for 1000mbit (gigabit) with Google Fiber [Source]
$70 for 1000mbit (gigabit) with Chattanooga EPB [Source]
$32 for 1000mbit (gigabit) in Seoul [Source-PDF]
$34 for 1000mbit (gigabit) in Tokyo [Source-PDF]

Now, we really need to get somewhere near there with access, price, and connectivity across the United States because gosh darn’t it sounds like fun. Competition I think would help keep prices low since bandwidth and costs keep getting lower and competition helps spur innovation in the area.

But what we really need is some way for cities and states to wire up residences and then sell the capability to service those residences. That would promote competition and make the barriers to enter a market much lower. Imagine roads in the same way as internet-connectivity could be managed. If you city does a crummy job its easy to complain. If your ISP/TV does a crummy job you can get someone else to deliver that to you. If a new type of road/connectivity method comes out the city can be pressured by local residents to upgrade. It may cost some money in the short term but in the end, if done correctly and help accountable, it should all even out in the end.

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