Slow internet is a growing problem with many U.S. internet and broadband providers, which is decreasing quality of internet access. A good connection doesn’t mean that the videos will stream without having to buffer. It is much more than that.
Why Make the Internet Slow?
The technology has advanced to the point where we could have gigabyte connections, but internet service providers are deliberately holding back, because they do not want the users to enjoy the full speeds. The question is why? One thing might be the increasing popularity of the cloud, as well as the distributed computing space. Companies are investing a lot of money into data centers which should increase their cloud oriented capabilities and services. If the internet speeds were faster than they are now, they would make such technologies obsolete, as computers would be able to communicate, and work together simultaneously.
Another issue might be that it takes a lot of money to maintain the infrastructure. Countries with a smaller geographic areas have higher internet speeds, due to the fact that less distance needs to be covered with expensive cables. Cable industries have recently admitted that speeds could be higher, but they are deliberately held back. The reason to this is that the infrastructure would have to be upgraded, and it costs a lot of money, something that the large companies do not want to do. They seem happy with the service they are able to provide at the moment, even if the users are not. The upgraded infrastructure would mean cheaper bandwidth, faster internet, which would result in lower revenue for the company.
Time Warner vs. Xfinity
Companies like Time Warner and Comcast have incentive to starve the market in order to generate higher income from their consumers. They do this by manipulating the speeds in order to generate fees from websites. Time Warner has tried to switch to capped bandwidth plans multiple times, even though the cable companies have admitted that there is no congestion, and that the data caps are there to increase the revenue. Despite the opposition from their customers, they can do what they want, as there is no serious competition to ISPs like Time Warner and Comcast.
The ISPs refuse to augment capacity, something which eventually results in slower speeds. They seem to be deliberately destroying the service that they should be providing by increasing the number of users, and not upgrading the infrastructure, letting their service degrade over time.
To make things even worse, Comcast and Time Warner are to merge, which will result in them controlling 40 percent of the market. As if things weren’t bad enough, the government doesn’t seem to care, as it was recently made possible for the ISPs to slow down the internet speed on individual case basis. This basically means that they can now make a difference between their customers, allowing some to have a more reliable connection, while lowering the speed to others.
It doesn’t look good, and it remains to be seen what will happen in the near feature. As things are right now, the users are going to face even slower internet speeds, and the reasons for that will never be publicly admitted.