Groups say U.S. needs faster Internet

Janet Babin Jun 23, 2008
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Groups say U.S. needs faster Internet

Janet Babin Jun 23, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: How much Internet access does one country need?
Apparently, this country needs a lot more. Consumer groups say the U.S. lags behind other nations in broadband service. The FCC will look into this a bit more today at a hearing.
Janet Babin has more from our Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: Exactly what is broadband Internet access?

Analyst Craig Moffett at Bernstein Research says it depends on who you ask and what country they’re in.

Craig Moffett: There are no international standards defining what broadband is. In the U.S., broadband, believe it or not, is still described as any service that’s over 200 kilobits per second.

Yeah, that’s really slow. Forget kilobits — you have to be in megabit territory just to stream video online.

Moffett says the U.S. needs to redefine what’s considered broadband. And then, if we want everyone to have it, we’re going to have to subsidize it.

Moffett: Everybody would love to see broad availability of broadband connections, but nobody wants to really grapple with the hard question, which is how much are taxpayers willing to pay for it?

Countries with widespread broadband access, like Korea and Japan, have already figured that out.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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