If you still have to suffer through lagging downloads and constantly-buffering YouTube videos, the problem may not be with you or your computer, it might be with your internet provider. In an interview with NPR, law professor Susan Crawford outlined some of the problems that are keeping Americans from enjoying faster internet speeds.
As the author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the Gilded Age”, Crawford has long been an outspoken advocate for a telecommunication reform within America. Speaking to Fresh Air’s Dave Davies on the topic, Crawford explained how early regulatory mistakes in the American telecoms industry had led to today’s struggle for control over the internet. “For most Americans, their only choice for high-speed, high-capacity internet connection is their local cable monopoly,” Crawford said.
According to Crawford, it is the monopolized market which has caused the US to fall behind other countries in terms of internet speed. With the market controlled by only a few powerful figures, there are little competition inspiring service providers to offer better speeds or cheaper internet connections. Crawford warns that unless serious action is taken to set the internet industry on the right path, the US will be “a Third World country when it comes to communications.”