You would think that in America, the country that practically invented the internet, would rank at least in the top 10 when it comes to speed.
But according to one recent ranking, the US falls at 24th place in average peak internet speed. In a The Week article, the US ranked 31st in download speeds and 42nd in upload speeds. In both these counts, America falls behind countries like Latvia, Qatar, and countries you may have never even heard of. So the question is, how did this happen? In a country where we pride ourselves on the newest, fastest, best… how are countries flying by us in internet speeds?
Unsurprisingly, it’s created by the monopoly of corporatization.
The 1996 telecommunications act (which, notably worth mentioning, was meant to foster competition among companies, not monopolization) essentially allowed cable companies to merge and conquer; the corporations simply bought each other out until we were left with a few that could consequently keep charging higher and higher prices with lower quality speeds.
And that leaves us here, in 2015, monopolized by giant corporations such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon who already have a huge amount of influence on the infrastructure of the internet. These companies are buddy-buddy with the government as well, resulting in the chaos surrounding the net neutrality debate.
On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver offered an informative and funny commentary on how these companies have monopolized our internet and how they worked to eliminate net neutrality so sites would have to pay a premium to give their consumers faster connection speeds – something easy for a major multi-billion dollar company such as Netflix, but not realistic for an independent blogger or filmmaker, drawing an audience unfairly away from outlets that can’t afford the premium prices.