Why are US internet speeds so slow

1GB per second: The US's new broadband strategy makes Germany look old

US President Obama has just announced his new plans for faster internet in the US. As in this country, there are large regional differences in network speed in the USA. In general, the supply in the country is worse than in the big cities. In order to achieve rapid expansion, Obama wants to make funds available on the one hand, and adjust the laws accordingly on the other. Connections with a speed of 1 GB / s are the target. Is that excessive or is the target of 50-100 Mbit / s in Germany simply ridiculous?

Rapid expansion required

For US President Obama there is no alternative to fast internet. In his words, broadband connections are not a luxury these days, but a necessity. They are also necessary for HD streaming and online gaming, but their importance is far greater than that. Only with modern connections can the USA remain an internationally competitive innovator, according to Obama.

At the moment, however, the USA is still facing problems in order to achieve the goal. On top of that are the regional differences in speed. As in Germany, when it comes to high-speed networks in the USA, one can speak of a patchwork quilt rather than comprehensive coverage. The legal situation is currently also contributing to this, as it forbids numerous states from cities and municipalities to develop their connections themselves.

As a very first step, the government sends a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking them to consider how best to implement the strategy.

Concrete measures planned

In a fact sheet, the government shows exactly what it is up to. The first step towards the new broadband is therefore to strengthen competition or to dismantle laws that prevent expansion. Cities and municipalities can then drive the expansion themselves if necessary, so they no longer have to wait for companies to make a decision.

In addition to technical know-how, the cities and municipalities should also receive financial support. In addition, it should be possible in the future to request special loans from the Ministry of Agriculture. In any case, 4.7 billion US dollars have already been invested. The know-how gained from this is now to be better bundled in the “Broadband USA” initiative. The Ministry of Commerce is in the lead.

Under the umbrella of the “Next Century Cities”, cities should also be able to join forces in a coalition to which universities also belong. The goal: to generate synergy effects from the cooperation.

Germany is too slow!

Obama has just presented his new strategy with prestige in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The 1GB broadband network is already a reality there.

The federal government is also currently planning to make Germany fit for the future of the grid. The plans, as you have to see at the latest in comparison to the US ambitions, are really poor in this country. Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt proudly announced at the end of last year that 50 Mbit should be achieved nationwide by 2018 (especially in rural areas). That's not much.

An article on “Bild” sums it up aptly: while in the USA President Obama makes the problem a top priority, in Germany the Minister of Transport is responsible for broadband strategy. Where is the mistake?

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Nevertheless, there is good news: After all, the hitherto big inhibitor is now playing along - Deutsche Telekom. With VDSL connections, 100 Mbit, possibly even up to 500 Mbit, should soon be available over a large area.

And anyone who immediately complains that such connections are only needed for illegal downloading anyway, is hugely underestimating the Internet of tomorrow.

Image: Wikipedia

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