Do you think your broadband connection is fast?
According to a recent study by the Communications Workers of America union, it doesn't matter if you have cable, satellite or DSL, your U.S. high-speed connection is slow.
The average broadband download speed in the US is 1.9 megabits per second, compared to 61 MB in Japan, 45 in South Korea, 18 in Sweden, 17 in France, and 7 in Canada, according to the study.
What's that mean?
On average, a file that takes four minutes to download in South Korea would take nearly an hour and a half to download in the U.S., using the average bandwidth.
Japanese users can download an entire movie in just two minutes, as opposed to two hours or more in the States. And according to the study, the Japanese don't pay any more than you do for your broadband. In fact, the study shows that U.S. broadband costs are among the highest in the world.
"This isn't about how fast someone can download a full-length movie," said CWA president Larry Cohen. "Speed matters to our economy and our ability to remain competitive in a global marketplace. Rural development, telemedicine, and distance learning all rely on truly high-speed, universal networks."
Cohen recently testified before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, in support of a discussion draft of the Broadband Census of America Act.
"We desperately need a national Internet policy to reverse the fact that our nation – the country that invented the Internet – has fallen to 16th in the world in broadband adoption," Cohen said. 'Equally disturbing, Americans pay more for slower connection speeds than people in many other countries."
Cohen pointed out that the average upload speed was in the US was only 371 kilobits per second, not nearly enough to send quality medical information over the Internet.
"Speed Matters on the Internet," Cohen emphasized. "It determines what is possible; whether we will have the 21st century networks we need to grow jobs and our economy, and whether we will be able to support innovations in telemedicine, education, public safety, and public services to improve our lives and communities. High speed Internet could even help address the global warming crisis by allowing people to get things done without getting into their car."