Canucks Best Yanks


Finally, something that Canadians can crow about to their oh-so-smug neighbors below the 49th parallel: Internet access.

According to a recent study commissioned by the Communications Workers of America, the median download speed for U.S. "broadband" Internet access users is a mere 1.97 megabits per second (Mbps). Canadians enjoy a median speed of 7 Mbps! Pretty good, eh?

Well, maybe not if you compare those speeds to what's available in other developed nations. In France, they get a median speed of 17 Mbps. In South Korea, it's 45 Mbps, and in Japan, it's a whopping 61 Mbps. Now those are speeds that can truly make downloading a movie an instaneous event.

While interviewing a Motorola executive the other day for another story, I asked him about the report and he pointed out that we could have much faster speeds in the United States. Motorola has already demonstrated cable modems that can achieve speeds of 100 Mbps over traditional cable networks. According to him, it's a matter of consumer demand. (And I always thought it was a matter of "if you build it, they will come.") Of course, there are some higher speed services availabe from the likes Cablevision and Verizon Fios, but you have to live in area's covered by those new services (and good luck with that).


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About jquain

Technology reporter, writer, and television correspondent, JQ has been covering the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries for more than 25 years.A contributor to The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, PC Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and many other publications, JQ appears on CBS News television program Up to the Minute and on Fox Business.
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