A few of my friends have ordered FiOS
and they seem happy to have broadband access at speeds once unavailable from phone companies. The sad thing is that even though broadband speeds are increasing in the US the cost of the connections are higher than in many other parts of the world and the speeds are still only a fraction of what others are experiencing in places like Asia.
If you want to learn about the current state of broadband in the US and some of the things that can be done to ensure we become more competitive you should read Eight Bold Steps to a national Broadband Policy (PDF
) by Jim Baller and Casey Lide.
The article outlines how other countries continue to surpass the US in broadband penetration as well as broadband capacity for the dollar. China, Japan Sweden and Australia are all mentioned in the article and to be honest I continue to grow concerned about the state of broadband in the US.
We all know how important the internet is to enhancing productivity as well as the myriad other benefits it provides. I have always been in favor of a hands off style of government but if we have a system in this country to reward homeowners by allowing them to deduct interest on their mortgage payments why are we not coming up with a system to ensure all Americans have the highest speed connections at the lowest prices?
In my opinion there is no question that broadband access in the 21st century is as important as home ownership was in the 20th century.
Part of me hopes that by allowing a single AT&T to emerge we will see free markets and competition allow us to catch up to other countries.