Internet is an important utility and this realization was evident in the pandemic. Many companies have switched to work from home entirely in the light of the pandemic. Employees are encouraged to stay at home and continue their JDs from home. Without high-speed internet, these activities can face hindrances. Especially when you are on a work call, you cannot afford internet connectivity issues.
The home internet in the United States is not optimal. We are far behind what other countries have for residential consumers. To be honest, we are not even close. Why do we lack so much behind? Who is responsible for this? Why can’t we match the speeds other countries have? There is no simple answer to this. Several factors have led to the decline in residential services. In this article, we will discuss all the reasons why home internet is poor in the United States.
There are a handful of internet providers working in the United States with nationwide access. These powerful companies have massive infrastructures and they operate in several areas where other providers cannot reach. Due to the lack of competition, these ISPs have created monopolies and they charge whatever they want from customers. If you live in the north of Chicago, there is a single ISP operating. If you are disappointed in the service, guess what? You cannot switch to another one because that is the only one operating. This is just Chicago, which is known as the City of Big Shoulders, yet has this poor internet. FCC was created to keep a check on these ISPs and when people complained over the poor service, everything went berserk. The senators stepped in and argued that the FCC is meddling in the affairs of the free market.
Lack of investment
Although we are quite advanced in terms of everything else, when it comes to the internet, we seriously lack behind. Most of the parts of the country lacks even the basic infrastructure for high-speed internet. Geographically, most of America is sparsely populated farmland. Not just Wyoming, but mid-sized cities like Indianapolis, Madison, Oregon, and Eugene do not have many options over 25 Mbps.
How can we expand our internet coverage? The expansion of high-speed internet requires installing cross-country fiber cables and wiring the homes individually. This is quite expensive and no one is willing to pay the high cost associated with this installation. The big companies have already taken the pain to get internet access to the remote areas.
Utility vs Consumer Product
There are two different thoughts in the country. A faction of people believes that the internet is an important utility. For example, the basic utilities include electricity, water, and gas in colder seasons. These utilities are a must-have and there is no doubt about it. In many cases where these utilities have a problem in distribution to the end-consumer, the government takes strict action and holds the agencies responsible for the delivery accountable. If the internet is treated as a utility, the government has to make it accessible for everyone and ensure that the service is of high quality.
However, when you treat the internet as a consumer product. You create a disparity in terms of how those providing this product are treated. Therefore, there is less accountability resulting in the average services. Since the country hasn’t decided whether the internet is as important as electricity or just a service that should be limited to a few, we see a lot of problems in the system. As we already mentioned how senators deem FCC’s inclusion in this matter infringement of the free market, there is little progress on the issue at hand.
We fail to realize that the internet is an integral part of healthcare, education, business, and whatever sector you name.
Many providers understand these concerns and try everything they can to make them better. For example, Spectrum is an example. Spectrum has no contracts and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, a feat very rare to find. You can bundle internet with Spectrum TV packages to get the best of both worlds. Governments and relevant organizations should work with internet companies to make internet service accessible and better.