NYT on Broadband in Japan

How is it that in San Francisco, a city where everyone is online 24/7, we barely have anything close to fast broadband ? While in Japan “160 Mbps service costs 6,000 yen ($60) per month” ?

The New York Times explores this with a piece tonight World’s Fastest Broadband at $20 Per Home

The money quote:

Cable executives have given several reasons for why many cable systems in the United States are going very slowly in upgrading to Docsis 3. There’s little competition in areas not served by Verizon’s FiOS system, which soon will offer 50 Mbps service. And some argue there isn’t that much demand for super-high speed.

Mr. Fries added another: Fear. Other cable operators, he said, are concerned that not only will prices fall, but that the super-fast service will encourage customers to watch video on the Web and drop their cable service.

I know in places like Japan and South Korea the vast majority of the population lives in large cities so that’s an advantage VS the large geographic areas here in the US. But the lack of urgency here in the US for real broadband, and not that 768K DSL “dialup pro”, is just amazing to me.

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