With several countries offering cheap broadband internet to the masses, the U.S. is starting to look like we're in the slow lane, at least according to a bill introduced by Massachusetts Representative, Ed Markey.
What is clear is that broadband providers are charging an arm and a leg compared to other countries, and possibly even mislabeling products such as Comcast declaring their service to be 'unlimited' but then disconnected users who 'use too much'.
“What's less clear is how badly the country that gave birth to the Internet is doing, and whether the government needs to step in and do something about it. The Bush administration has tried to foster broadband adoption with a hands-off approach. If that's seen as a failure by the next administration, the policy may change.
In a move to get a clearer picture of where the U.S. stands, the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would develop an annual inventory of existing broadband services — including the types, advertised speeds and actual number of subscribers — available to households and businesses across the nation.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is intended to provide policy makers with improved data so they can better use grants and subsidies to target areas lacking high-speed Internet access. He said in a statement last week that promoting broadband would help spur job growth, access to health care and education and promote innovation among other benefits.”
We're hoping that these carrots are used in a way that trickles down to the consumers and just doesn't end up making fat cats fatter. We're not holding out breath on this one as any informed decision takes a long time to come to, but we'll hope that the future of Internet in America ends up becoming more affordable.