According to Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon’s CEO, the US is number one in broadband.
Anytime government—whether it’s the FCC or any agency—decides it knows what the market wants and makes that a static requirement, you always lose. So this FCC decided that speed of the network was the most important issue. So that’s all they measured.
So they will say, if you go to Korea or you go to France, you can get a faster Internet connection. Okay? That could be true in some companies—in some countries. The facts are that, in the US, there is greater household penetration of access to the Internet than any country in Europe.
Verizon has put more fiber in from Boston to Washington than all the Western European countries combined. All.
But British Telecom’s 40 Mbps service costs $30/month (£19.99) while competitor Virgin Media provides 50 Mbps service for $42/month (£28/month). Compare that to Verizon’s 50 Mbps Internet service which costs $144/month, at least four times as much.
What are the facts?
- Virgin Media, the UK’s first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile, recently announced it would begin the roll-out of a 100Mb broadband service, the fastest available commercial product in the UK, by the end of 2010. All of Virgin’s existing 3.8 million cable broadband customers would be able to achieve 100 Mbps speed by 2011 should they choose to subscribe to the faster service. Virgin Media has 4.1 million broadband customers and currently offers 10Mb, 20Mb and 50Mb services.
- France’s Free.fr offers a triple play of phone, TV, and Internet for €30 a month. Perhaps price and features, along with speed, aren’t really “important” to consumers, notes Ars Technica.
- Sweden’s Superonline offers residential customers up to 100 Mbps internet access and enterprise customers 10 Gbps internet access, metro Ethernet and leased line by its own nation-wide alternative fiber roll-out. Superonline’s plan is to add some 300,000 homes passed to their FTTx network during 2010. Ericsson will manage an operator-neutral city network in Sweden.
- Sweden’s Bredbandsbolaget is the second largest broadband provider with 25 percent of the market. It is No. 1 in the big cities and offers high-speed broadband for Internet access, telephony, digital-tv.
- Hong Kong offers 1Gbps fiber costs only $26/month (HK$199) (pdf), notes ArsTechnica. Hong Kong’s City Telecom offers US$13, symmetric 100Mbps connections and 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home for US$26 a month. Hong Kong’s i-Cable offers 130Mbps downloads for $39 per month using DOCSIS 3.0 tech. Hong Kong and the US are almost identical when it comes to GDP per capita.
Compare that to “number one” Verizon FiOS, the dominant fiber provider in the United States. It is passed by 12.7 million homes, of which 3.1 million subscribe to the Internet service and 2 million to FiOS TV.
Verizon’s 50 Mbps Internet service is about four times more expensive than BT’s 40 Mbps service — about $140/month (£92/mo) vrs BT’s $30/month (£19.99) or Virgin Media’s 50 Mbps service — $42/month (£28/month).
A new study commissioned by the Fiber To The Home Council, says there were about 18.2 million homes passed with fiber to the home connections in North America, with the number of homes actually connected roughly 5.8 million.
Unlike AT&T’s U-verse product, Verizon’s broadcast video service is not IPTV. At the subscriber’s home, an optical network terminal transfers data onto the corresponding copper wiring for phone, video and Internet access.