January 4, 2003  ·  Lessig

So in 1998, as a Christmas present to my parents, I promised to give them broadband service when it became available. They live just outside Hilton Head, SC. No San Francisco, no doubt (where broadband at 1.5 mbs is available at about $50 a month), but still, no backwater.

For the first time this year, service is getting close. A company called Hargray promises 768kbs for the amazing low price of $100 a month. No cable service available from AT&T. And no service available from anyone in the 1.5 mbs range.

Meanwhile, to repeat again: Here in Japan, they are selling 100 mbs for $50/month, 12 mbs for $25.

  • http://www.greenbeamwireless.com Brian Macauley

    If you think that’s sad…you should have a look at the even sadder state of broadband in the Rep. of Ireland.

    This rollout has just begun, and it’s nearly impossible to get an installation. They also charge $90 for a 512kbs connection.

    The ‘Celtic Tiger’ seems to have lost it’s claws…

  • http://www.eire.com/ Antoin O Lachtnain

    And don’t forget the VAt, which brings it to around USD 110. And there’s a cap – max 3 gig/month. The latency is quite poor too.

  • ssn

    For the record,

    in Portugal prices go from:
    512/128 without limits – 45�
    512/128 with 2GB/month downstream limit – 35�
    Each adicional 100Mb – 1,50�

    Here, most landlines are (still) owned by a single (former public) company. Monopoly is the word ;-)

  • http://daoistraver.livejournal.com Adem Kupi

    A. Why do you think that is? I think it’s because of the Telcos and CLECs. That seems to be where most of the problem is.

    B. I have a plan. Wireless Towers everywhere, perhaps connected to each other by satellite or laser. 2m service offered for 40 per month. The method is to start a non-profit organization devoted to “providing low cost broadband to everyone”. As a non-profit org, one could find a way to make the price of service tax-deductible, as well as having fundraisers. Connect it to various online charity donation sites. Invite the Chairman of the FCC to one or more of the fundraising dinners. If it was done properly, we could have our Cable and DSL companies quaking in their boots.

  • http://icepick.info/ Myers Carpenter

    In the 90s the Baby Bells made promises to get all of America hooked up to high speed networks, some them specifical saying fiber to the home, and where allowed to raise what they charge you and I to fund this promise. Here we are 10 years later. These extra charges we’ve been paying have raised some $45 billion, with about $8 billion being added to that every year. What have we gotten from this? Next to nothing. Where is the money going? Into the profits of the Baby Bells.

    This white paper is where I’m getting this info.

    We need to either start a class action lawsuit or get congress to look at it (probably not going to be easy given how much the Baby Bells give to congress). Maybe the best first step is to spread the news.

  • Jerrod Hansen

    Bob Cringley over at PBS had an article about the low cost of broadband in Japan a while back where he suggested that the ISP are selling at a loss and that the market here will eventually collapse. I live in Kyoto, Japan, and enjoy 12/1 Mbps ADSL for $25/ month and sure hope that it doesn’t change radically. Although they do offer fiber to the home pretty cheaply here, and I’d like to upgrade to that sometime this year.

  • Jerrod Hansen

    Looks like I messed up the link to Cringley’s article:


  • Anonymous

    The 12Mbs figure is an illusion. Virtually no customers will be close enough to the exchange to actually get that bandwidth. Japanese ISPs have simply observed that their customers go by the number on the box, which is what the dsl modem is capable of under ideal conditions.

  • http://isen.com David Isenberg

    Thanks for the reinforcing data point! I wrote about the Japan connectivity situation in my SMART Letters #80 & 81, see http://isen.com/archives . . . (BTW, I *wish* you’d resubscribe).
    David I

  • Anonymous

    Advice regarding Hargray: If you want service comparable to other DSL providers in the universe, get the business package. Their residential service has amazingly high latency, unannounced outages every so often and their PPPoE implementation has me scratching my head. Good company for the most part, but it’s DSL speed and dial-up connection quality.