• Fauzia Haque

Buffering, Am I Right?

The United States is one of the world’s most developed nations, so why do the internet speeds not compare?


Of all the industrialized and technologically advanced nations around the world, the United States ranks poorly in comparison. According to Panda Security, the United States ranks as the twelfth country with the fastest internet speed at 32.89 megabits per second (Mbps). Compared to Taiwan’s internet speed of 85.02 Mbps, the United States’ internet speed is noticeably much slower. A five-gigabit movie takes nearly 21 minutes to download in the United States whereas, in Taiwan, it takes up to eight.


Why does this happen?

It is common knowledge that America's economy is founded upon capitalism and monopolies. A monopoly is when one company or business acquires complete domination over an industry; in this case, it is applicable to the internet industry as there is very little competition between internet providers within the United States. Not only is the internet speed comparatively slower, but the price of internet per month is also significantly higher as United States’ citizens pay almost ten times the amount of money per month for slower WiFi than citizens in cities like Seoul, Paris and Hong Kong pay with incredibly faster wifi. Due to economical processes in the country, the typical American market only has a distinct couple of broadband servers that maximize their prices to the monopolistic costs, which is usually at where marginal cost is equivalent to marginal revenue.


Why is this problematic?

The United States is regarded as the sole global superpower, so it should not be a foreign idea that the country can afford the top technological advances for the broadband industry to supply to its consumers. However, the internet is not only used for entertainment, and its slow downloading process does not only affect the annoyed citizens watching movies or downloading video games. So many people nationwide utilize the internet for the careers they do, especially during these times as more people are working from home. In order to maximize the best working ability for the citizens of this country, it is vital that the United States improves the broadband industry to aid the digital needs of its citizens and to drive down prices and increase affordability standards for the nation.


Working Abroad: What Countries Have the Fastest Internet? (2019, December 13). Panda Security. Retrieved from https://www.pandasecurity.com/mediacenter/panda-security/countries-with-the-fastest-internet/


Miller, Claire Cain. (2014, October 30). Why the U.S. Has Fallen Behind in Internet Speed and Affordability. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/upshot/why-the-us-has-fallen-behind-in-internet-speed-and-affordability.html

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