The Cost of Connectivity
synopsis: The US Sucks
Public interest and consumer advocates have cited the U.S.’s recent decline in global competitiveness as evidence of the need for policy reforms that will spur greater competition and investment from the nation’s Internet providers. Meanwhile, opponents of this view have dismissed these international rankings as deeply flawed and akin to comparing apples and oranges. They cite the United States' significantly lower population density and larger geographic size relative to other nations at the top of the rankings,which tend to have smaller land areas and greater population densities.
Are the opponents of fair competition seriously suggesting that a survey of major cities around the world is biased to a great effect by population density?
Yes, USA has a serious "urban sprawl" effect. One has to only look at L.A., New York Metro and Chicago to see that.
But, really, is it any easier in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Berlin, London or Amsterdam to tear up streets and install fiber?
Actually, if you think about it, the "urban sprawl" makes it easier
Sure, buying the fiber and running it a longer distance is more expensive.
But they've got more "elbow" room in those cities.
How in the world did they find any room in Tokyo to run fiber? The whole city is a spire with tiny apartments/condos crammed on top of each other like a Jenga game.
Have you ever seen the traffic in Paris or London?
Hong Kong? You can't even breathe without invading somebody's personal space.
Does that prove their point? Or does that population density make it much more expensive to run fiber?
In fact, if you Google for prices of laying fiber, you will find the same answer everywhere: Population density is the #1 cost factor. They're running fiber inside sewers just to avoid dealing with tearing up streets!