Despite the doomsday forecasters’ grim predictions for the Internet’s future following Net Neutrality’s repeal, here we are still alive and still breathing. Even more positive news: U.S. Internet speeds rose 40%.
Ookla’s latest Speedtest found that ” US internet speeds rose nearly 40 percent this year.” Here were the winners and losers of fastest broadband and upload speeds per Recode:
New Jersey had the highest mean download speed — 121 megabits per second — while Rhode Island had the fastest upload speed — 63 Mbps — in Q2 and Q3 of 2018. Maine had the slowest mean upload and download speeds (50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload) of any state. California, the home of Silicon Valley, ranked 17th in downloads and 24th in uploads
With respect to download speed, the report placed the U.S. in the seventh coveted spot—between Hungary and Switzerland. With respect to upload rate, the U.S. ranks 27th between Bulgaria and Canada. These findings were studied during Q2-Q3 2018. Despite 5G being on the horizon, the U.S. is best positioning itself to have “faster speeds and greater increases in speed.”
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai was heralded as a nemesis of net neutrality and Internet freedom. He was supposed to “break the Internet” and bring about its imminent demise and death. Ironically, his agenda has proven to be otherwise and a net benefit to Internet freedom.
There are a few basic principles that animate — or should — the high-cost program. First, subsidies should provide maximum incentive to be efficient; we want to stretch taxpayer dollars as far as possible. Second, subsidies should be sufficient to build out networks; after all, these are areas where the business case for private investment is lacking. Third, the program should support high-quality services; rural Americans deserve services that are comparable to those in urban areas. And fourth, subsidies should be predictable; after all, building networks is a serious long-term proposition, not a one-time whim. Unfortunately, for many, many years, the program hasn’t satisfied each of these important principles.
Tax cuts were supposed to bring about our extinction, as well, but here we are. Don’t believe the scaremongers.