Chris J Powell

The State of Broadband…why is my Internet still stuck in 2004???

I am a big fan of the concept of ADSL and its ability to be there for me no matter where I move to but in looking up the “global connectivity rates” and “international broadband speeds” I am more than a little disappointed by the fact that I am still faced with a 5MBps connection.  The OECD reports that Canadians have access to an average connection speed of 7.6MBps one of the best in the world and considering we are the 2nd largest country in the world the expense of connecting all those houses and businesses is enormous (look to the Alberta SuperNet and the ambitious plans to bring affordable broadband to EVERY Albertan).

For friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter you will know that the Cable Guy arrived last night to hook up 1 million channels of commercials…oops I mean great entertainment programming so why didn’t we go for the higher connections provided by a Cable Internet Connection…The CAP!  I download what I download when i want and I don’t want anyone telling me that I have to live within a little box when it comes to my internet usage!  So is the trade off of unlimited downloads a good tradeoff for what sometimes feels like my good old 33.6kbps dial up modem from 1997?  For now yes…but I am not sure for how long.

But at the same time I started to wonder why I still have the same connection speeds as I did in 2004?  Lets think back to the long ago times in technology from 7 years ago:

  • Mobile Phones were just getting 1 Mega Pixel Cameras
  • Video iPods were not even a consideration and Archos and RCA were surging in popularity
  • A 42″ Plasma TV cost $4,000
  • The DVR was just coming into its own

Fast forward to 2011:

  • Mobile Phones are looking at 8+ Mega Pixel Cameras and can edit the photos on the device
  • Archos and RCA are background players and only the Shuffle and Nano don’t play video
  • A 42″ Plasma TV cost $529.99 at
  • DVR’s are everywhere and TV’s are now Internet Connected

I started to look at a report commissioned to look at Canada’s Investment in Broadband Technologies and I really feel that it is becoming a Regional Plan and not a National Strategy as we see in many other countries.  Take a read, I was quite impressed with the depth of the insights:

So if the rest of technology seems to be moving so fast forward why is Canada and most specifically my little corner of South Western Ontario so lacking in Connectivity options?  Videotron in Quebec now offers 120MBps service to its customers. Shaw Cable is offering 100MBps in many of its service areas and Bell Aliant is offering 170MBps to Atlantic Canada.

Maybe if I eat my Wheaties, say my prayers and be a really, really good boy Santa will bring my Internet Connection up to 1/10th the level that is seen in Seoul, South Korea as the city and the country itself prepare for the role out of 1GBps to the home in 2012!!!  With speeds like that, I think of Jean Luc Picard “Engage Mr. Crusher”!

Any body know a good place to learn to speak Korean…I love my broadband and that would be HEAVEN!

Cheers and have a great day…just 10 hours till the weekend!

Chris J Powell

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