U.S. cities trail Seoul, South Korea, Hong Kong and Tokyo when it comes to Internet speeds, according to the annual report from the Open Technology Institute.
In Seoul, Internet users can blaze through the Web at connections of roughly 1000 megabits per second for just $30 a month. The same speeds can be found in Hong Kong and Tokyo for $37 and $39 per month, respectively.
The Cost of Connectivity is an annual report that examines the cost and speed of broadband Internet access in 24 cities in the United States and abroad.
“Overall, the data that we have collected in the past three years demonstrates that the majority of U.S. cities surveyed lag behind their international peers, paying more money for slower Internet access,” the report concludes. The data was collected between July and September 2014.
In comparison, residents of New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. can get 500-megabit connections via Verizon. But the come at a cost of $300 a month.
Some U.S. cities carry 1000-megabit connections, but users pay more than the typical U.S. home connection. Chattanooga, Tenn., and Lafayette, La. have locally-owned and maintained fiber networks, and Google has deployed a fiber network in Kansas City. High-speed Internet users in Chattanooga and Kansas City shell out about $70, while in Lafayette the cost is $110.
Smaller countries with higher population density can build more efficient infrastructures and can handle faster average speeds than the United States.
Google is considering bringing high-speed fiber networks to a few other U.S. cities. AT&T has also built them in a few communities. But it will be years before the sought-after 1000-megabit speeds are an option for most U.S. households.