Originally published: April 14, 2010
Last updated: April 14, 2010 - 3:55pm
According to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, the US is number one in broadband, no question about it. But one only has to look around the world to see just how specious his claims are.
Take Hong Kong as an example. City Telecom made waves a few months ago with its US$13, symmetric 100Mbps connections. Today, the company slashed prices on its much faster 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home offering; a fully symmetric, 1Gbps connection costs HK$199... or US$26 a month. Want phone service with that? That'll be US$3. IPTV service will cost another $6-12, depending on the channel package. This is an exceptional offer, but City Telecom isn't alone in offering service that should make US operators cringe—and US customers green with envy. Hutchson Telecom offers 100Mbps symmetric connections for US$13. i-Cable offers 130Mbps downloads for $39 per month using DOCSIS 3.0 tech. This isn't the US market, so prices aren't directly comparable, but Hong Kong and the US are almost identical when it comes to GDP per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). Hong Kong is one of the densest spots on earth. One wouldn't expect to see this level of price and competition across a country as broad and sprawling as the US, but one would expect it to be possible somewhere. Sadly, even something like 100Mbps is hard to come by in most US cities; 1Gbps is unknown, except to tiny specialty operators, even in a place like New York City.
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