The U.S. is home to world-leading tech companies including Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. With that said, the U.S. holds an unimpressive rank in both download and upload speeds.
The internet was invented on January 1, 1983, as a means to transmit data between multiple networks. This online world became more recognizable in the 1990s with the creation of the World Wide Web. With the internet’s history deeply rooted in the U.S., why are our download speeds slower than countries including Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay?
The problem lies in the creation of monopolies of large telecommunication companies. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and other leading telecommunication divided up the markets and placed themselves in positions where there would be no competition. Since there is virtually no competition, there is no reason to make the internet faster.
There needs to be competition for our ranking to improve. We must follow South Korea’s lead to control monopolies. According to Professor Richard Taylor and Eun-A Park, “[T]he South Korean market was able to grow rapidly due to fierce competition in the market, mostly facilitated by the Korean government’s open access rule and policy choices more favorable to new entrants rather than to the incumbents. Furthermore, near monopoly control of the residential communications infrastructure by cable operators and telephone companies manifests itself as relatively high pricing and lower quality in the U.S.”
We must reclaim our spot as leaders in the internet realm which mean we need to have stronger regulation in terms of telecommunication monopolies.