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Is your Internet slow? US != #1 ∴ Change your perception

Why do we always have to be #1? I've never understood it - the drive to call yourself #1 - when clearly it is only fleeting or a delusion in the first place (pun intended).

Here's an example - do you think the US has the fastest Internet speeds? Are we #1? We invented the damn thing (well, Al Gore did and he was almost a US president). Why shouldn't we have the best internet? It's our right. Who could possibly touch us in download speed?

Well the facts are not what perception might lead you to believe. The US has slow download speeds on average. Not even in the top 3, not the top 10, - yep we make the "also showed" list in the top 20. (2008 data)

My down load speed is great - I pay for Comcast cable and get at times 30 Mbps (30 Mega bits per second - not bytes). Check your download speed with Speakeasy.

According to The Wall Street Journal, "countries like Japan enjoy download speeds of up to 30 times faster than the average in the U.S." However your results may vary. I see speeds that are fairly good (30 Mbps) which is 17 X faster than the global average of 1.7 Mbps (Akamai Q1 2009). The USA average is 4.2 Mbps. That places us in 18th place behind South Korea at 11 Mbps.

Obama's stimulus package ($789 Billion) will allocate $7.2 B for broadband funding. Just in case you're wonder what broadband is defined as - a measly 768 Kbps. So will that raise us to #1? I don't think so. Well then, where are we #1? Maybe in internet penetration - the number of people using the internet. Yep! We are #1. We are #1. The US has 116 M unique IP addresses compared to #2 China's 44 M. But hey - no real Fool would just use the raw numbers - that's not very informative - what about per capita? Well then the US falls into the #6 spot with 0.38 unique IPs per capita, behind Norway at #1 with 0.46. Damn that #1 spot is so fickle, so illusive.

Akamai Q1 2009
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