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Internet speed: more proof we get ripped off

Broadband service in Japan is eight to 30 times faster than in the U.S., according to a report in today’s WaPo. It’s also much cheaper.

The speed advantage allows the Japanese to watch broadcast-quality, full-screen television over the Internet, an experience that mocks the grainy, wallet-size images Americans endure.

WaPo also has a graphic that shows the median download speeds in megabits per second by country. Japan: 61. S. Korea: 46. Finland: 21. Sweden: 18. Canada: 8. U.S.: 2. This is more than just a matter of having a better hookup to watch YouTube. Higher speeds help the economy and medicine.

Ultra-high-speed applications are being rolled out for low-cost, high-definition teleconferencing, for telemedicine — which allows urban doctors to diagnose diseases from a distance — and for advanced telecommuting to help Japan meet its goal of doubling the number of people who work from home by 2010.

We developed the product. The Japanese are beating the pants off us with it. Sound familiar?

Adds Daniel in comments: “The philosophy of the US internet providers is “Gee bud, at least you have a connection.”

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