Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The state of the internet

The state of the internet

(via) (h/t)

To break down the infographic in a few words, it's not surprising that the biggets internet users are twenty-something with a college education and money in their pockets.

The disturbing part comes in at the average broadband speed area. Japan's broadband is a whopping 12 times faster than that of our country's broadband. If there were one technological advance I'd love to see, it's the goverment downright forcing American cable companies to speed things up while simultaneously lowering prices. $50+ per month to stay connected to a constant flow of information sounds like a damn good bargain on the outside but when you consider the annual costs of a big-market daily newspaper - usually consisting of at least 50 pages - is next to nothing compared to the $600 yearly outlay for internet access.

Sure, online access gives us streaming video, streaming music, photo hosting, social networking and access to not just one newspaper but hundreds of thousands of them from around the world plus millions of blogs - 100 or so of which are actually worth reading (this is one worth reading if you were curious). But for basic usage of those items, users don't pay a dime for access these websites. Unless you factor in the internet access charges - but those funds go to the people who own the wires, not the website owners.

So the real winner is the cable companies. The websites are right there, all we need is a way to view them and that involves access to the internet. Maybe internet access would best be treated as another essential utility like electricity or municipal water. Should we be stifled with relatively slow high speed access and expect to be on the same technological footing as advanced countries (such as Japan)? It's much like expecting a fair race between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and an Amish man from Harmony, MN. The advantage obviously goes to Earnhardt and in this convoluted comparison Earnhardt is Japan and the Amish man is the USA.

We, as a country, can never be competitive against the rest of the world with this disadvantage pillaging our wallets each month.

On the flip side, though, internet access does give you cool blogs to view such as MinnPics. It's a critical favorite which means it's lacking viewers so check out the photos of Minnesota right now!


buffalodick said...

10 years ago, I was forced kicking and screaming into using a computer..both my sons are employed by this industry now, and it has become integral to the 21st century's way of doing darn near everything. What's next?

Jules said...

Really quite interesting stats,,, but I really don't know how I feel about fitting into more than one of those higher percentages. I guess what I can say is that I can't stand life without the net and all the things I do on it!