The French Connections

Behind the pay-wall at the New York Times, Paul Krugman writes about the sad state of United States broadband internet.

Even more striking is the fact that our “high speed” connections are painfully slow by other countries’ standards. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, French broadband connections are, on average, more than three times as fast as ours. Japanese connections are a dozen times faster. Oh, and access is much cheaper in both countries than it is here.

The main idea of the article is that the ideals of a market driven economy are just that: ideals — sometimes federal regulations are the only way to guarantee a situation where competition drives prices down. He goes one (emphasis mine):

Meanwhile, as a recent article in Business Week explains, the real French bureaucrats used judicious regulation to promote competition. As a result, French consumers get to choose from a variety of service providers who offer reasonably priced Internet access that’s much faster than anything I can get, and comes with free voice calls, TV and Wi-Fi.

I left those long quotes in, as I know that most of you won’t get to read the article. Silly newspapers: subscriptions are for paper newspapers!

Brief Notes Nearby