The broadband gap: Why is theirs cheaper?

In the second in a series of three posts looking at the lessons for the United States from broadband deployment in other countries, New York Times editor Saul Hansell examines why broadband is cheaper in many other countries than in the U.S. Other countries have lower costs for the same reasons their DSL service is faster, he writes: Dense urban areas reduce some of the cost of building networks. In addition, governments in some countries subsidized fiber networks. But the big difference between the United States and most other countries, he writes, is competition. "Most big countries have devised a system to create competition by forcing the phone companies to share their lines and facilities with rival internet providers," Hansell writes. "Not surprisingly, the phone companies hate this idea, often called unbundling, and tend to drag their feet when it is introduced. So it requires rather diligent regulators to force the [telecoms] to play fair…"

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