Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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The fast internet sham

Great story from Sean Hollister at The Verge about the shortcomings of broadband in the U.S. And why? You guessed it: lack of regulation!

In 2009, the US spent $350 million on a “National Broadband Map” that turned out to be nothing more than a chance for the wolves to guard the hens: it relied on ISPs like Comcast and AT&T to submit their own data, which the FCC does not audit.

As reliable as my Comcast service has been, it’s also gotten increasingly opaque. Trying to figure out what download speeds are associated with what plans is easy enough, but Comcast doesn’t publish upload speeds for those plans anywhere that I can find.

Moreover, as I’ve mentioned before I’m lucky to live in a city with choice between two cable providers; many surrounding towns and cities have only one. And the FCC has seemed to be asleep at the switch where regulation in this market is concerned, at a time when the Internet has become more critical than ever to millions of Americans trying to work and learn from home.


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