HnHave you ever heard stories of High-Speed Internet usage in Japan or South Korea?
Although the United States has nearly 50% more computers per person than either nation, we manage just 50% of their average Internet speeds. Japan and South Korea have a major advantage of geography, with cities linked closely together, making it easier to install and support high-speed Internet infrastructure. Here in the United States, where there’s lots of open space between cities, we’re taking major steps to catch up.
Annual investment in American high-speed Internet services is growing by leaps and bounds. Such services include the web of cables needed to transmit data. Between 2009 and 2012, investment in high-speed Internet grew from $21 billion to $30 billion. In fact, that is more than the growth of investment in gas and petroleum or the auto industry. As a result, the 500 million Internet-connected devices in American homes and businesses have greater access to high-speed broadband Internet. Hence nearly 70% of all American households can use high-speed Internet today, while just 5% could do so in 2000.
Customers have proven extremely enthusiastic about the trend.
Comcast has reported incredible growth in their high-speed Internet services. Comcast added nearly 1.5 million high-speed Internet customers in the 12-month period between the third quarters of 2015 and 2016. At present, Comcast is by far the largest Internet provider in the United States. Comcast enjoys the revenue of 3.5 billion dollars per year from their high-speed customers, a figure that is growing at nearly 9% per year. In addition, Comcast has also reported increasing the speed of their Internet by raising bandwidth caps 17 times in the past 15 years.
This growth has come from a number of sources, including corporate, government, and individual investment. The Obama Administration made access to high-speed Internet a major priority of their economic plans, believing that the transition to the “app economy” required consistent access to better Internet performance, also known as the Uber economy due to the popularity of the ride-sharing app. President Obama spoke on the “digital divide” between households, businesses, and schools that could not afford higher-speed Internet. In addition, president Obama said that high-speed Internet services are no longer a luxury but a necessity in an age where nearly everything a customer could want can be ordered by a smartphone.
Research by the non-profit Connect Ohio organization agreed, analyzing businesses with and without broadband. They concluded that those with a high-speed Internet connection enjoy an average of $70,000 more revenue per year. While the United States is a ways from meeting South Korea’s broadband performance, no nation is growing their high-speed Internet services as quickly or as extensively as we are today.