Why Most Of Us Won't Get Faster Internet Anytime Soon

Despite the launch of Google Fiber in Kansas City, many ISPs don't have enough incentives to provide the technology to the average subscriber. However, some communities are working to get it.

What's the Latest Development?

Google's launch of its super-fast Fiber service in Kansas City last November may have created hope among many that the US might begin to catch up to other nations in terms of speed, but most established ISPs aren't interested in adopting or growing the technology. In the case of cable providers like Time Warner, analyst Craig Moffet says they're making a 97 percent profit that's "hard to improve [on]." They and other companies also prefer to build on existing infrastructure rather than create new fiber connections to businesses and homes as Google has done.

What's the Big Idea?

With an average download speed of 11.6 megabits per second, the US isn't even in the top 10 of developed countries with the fastest Internet. However, several different segments are working to create 1-gigabit networks, including universities, which want to stay competitive with their peers, and cities such as Chattanooga, which used federal stimulus money to build its own super-fast Internet service. At last month's Conference of Mayors meeting, "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for broadband providers and state and city officials to build out at least one 'gigabit community' in all 50 states by 2015."

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