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When It Comes to Internet, Americans Pay More and Get Less

Report finds U.S. cities lag behind Asian and European cities in internet price and quality

(Photo: Internet1/wikimedia/cc)

(Photo: Internet1/wikimedia/cc)

People in the United States pay more for the internet, and receive slower service, than their international counterparts, finds a report published Thursday by the Open Technology Institute of the New America Foundation.

Released annually, The Cost of Connectivity 2014 examines broadband costs and speeds in 24 cities in the United States, Asia, and Europe. It concludes that "Americans in major cities pay higher than average prices for 25 Mbps and get slower than average speeds for $50 when compared to their global peers," according to a report summary.

"In certain cases, we find that international consumers can pay the same price as U.S. consumers for data caps that are as much as 40 times higher than those offered by U.S. providers," states the report.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul provide the highest speeds at the lowest prices, according to the study.

Experts say that monopolies in the telecommunications industry are behind America's low costs and high prices.

"The reason the United States lags many countries in both speed and affordability, according to people who study the issue, has nothing to do with technology," writes Claire Cain Miller for the New York Times. "Instead, it is an economic policy problem — the lack of competition in the broadband industry."

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