The US is just a tenth as wired up as South Korea – and it’s losing out

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 23, 2015

350831-if-you-want-gigabit-internet-move-hereSeventy per cent of South Korea is fibre-optic cabled. The US is at just one-tenth of that. And it’s well behind Japan, Estonia, Norway, Sweden and Slovakia as well in being well wired up.

But we knew that already. What’s new, according to this piece in OZY, is that Google is trying to fibre-link swaths of America. It has already brought fiber to Kansas City, Missouri; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah and is currently working on Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Apparently, fibre optic cabled areas experience a GDP boost of about 1.1 percent. In September, the Fiber to the Home Council Americas reported on a study it conducted among 55 communities in nine states. It found that there was a “positive impact on economic activity” if gigabit access was widely available.

“Gigabit communities are empowered communities,” Council president Heather B. Gold said, adding that “every community should be a gigabit community.”

This is largely because gigabit availability means infrastructure investment and a shift in economic activity by means of job creation and occupational changes.

Why isn’t every American city and state working on this?