Then I found this article on Listverse that really changed my mind. I would have never guessed that the U.S. was that far down the list!
Since you are on the Internet right now, you’re likely not among the sizable US population for which getting a high-speed Internet connection is a royal pain. Sure, Internet speeds are pretty good in a lot of areas, and have improved steadily over the last ten years. And sure, we don’t have much trouble streaming movies and downloading songs. But number one in Internet speed? Not even close: America isn’t even in the top ten.
The reason for this is a sort of disharmony between Wall Street and Internet service providers. The nature of Wall Street tends to penalize carriers for making longer-term investments that won’t realize maximum short-term profit: investments such as infrastructure, for instance. Working mostly with existing infrastructure means that speed increases are minimal and incremental, which leads to your ISP having little excuse to jack up the price of your service. While this is great for you, it’s not so great for your ISP, who can’t increase profits enough to improve infrastructure without help from investors—who, again, don’t give a damn about long-term investment, just short-term profits.
For years, the leader in Internet speed has been South Korea, whose willingness to invest in improving technology combined with their population density (a quarter of the population lives in the city of Seoul alone) makes it comparatively easy to provide blazing speeds to a large slice of the populace. Recently, Hong Kong has challenged South Korea for the title, with Japan perennially in the top five. The US currently ranks fourteenth in the world.
Since I really don't want to live in any of these other countries, I'll settle for my present speed and just tell myself that it's faster than I thought! After all, who wants to live in a place where a full quarter of the country's population lives in one city? Certainly not me!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm thinking some kolaches would be nice, OK?